Channel Islands arts community feels the pinch from coronavirus pandemic

Jersey opera house seats
Jersey Opera House relies heavily on revenue from its box office Credit: ITV Channel TV

Channel Islands creatives have sent a dire warning about the future of arts venues without more government help.

Like many other businesses, both Jersey and Guernsey's creative sectors have faced severe hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Festivals across the Bailiwicks were cancelled and many venues have sat empty since the beginning of the pandemic.

While Jersey Opera House receives a government grant, it generates the majority of its revenue through the box office. Without visitors coming through the doors, the venue is now relying on its reserves to stay afloat.

The theatre was illuminated red on July 6 to raise awareness of the worrying financial situation many venues now find themselves in.

Jersey Opera House was illuminated red to send a warning about the future of arts venues. Credit: Jersey Opera House

Jersey's Deputy Chief Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham announced that the government would maintain current levels of art funding - equalling up to 1% of its total budget.

In Guernsey, where social distancing restrictions have been lifted, there is an optimism that with support from sponsors and the government, the island's arts community will be able to recover.

Live music has already returned in some venues, with more balcony gigs confirmed for later in the summer.