Belfast's Lyric Theatre not reopening until 2021

The Lyric Theatre was designed by O'Donnell and Tuomey Architects Credit: PA

The Lyric Threatre has announced it will not be reopening until 2021.In a statement released on the theatre's website, it said the move was due to receiving "no clarity" over much needed financial support for arts venues.£33m was announced for Northern Irish arts venues by the UK government in July. The NI Executive has not yet released any of the funding or given an explanation on how it will be used.The statement goes on to say, "At every stage of this pandemic, we have been working towards reopening the theatre in a safe and COVID compliant way for our wonderful audiences and brilliant artists. But each carefully thought-out plan has collapsed like dominos in the howl of the ill-wind of this pandemic.

Times are indeed tough for everyone, and this sort of staggered planning is no longer possible or fiscally prudent.

The Lyric Theatre has been closed since the start of lockdown in March Credit: UTV

The Lyric has reluctantly come to the conclusion that this year, for the first time in our history, we will not be presenting our hugely popular and unique Christmas offerings. Therefore, we will not produce any work on our stages until 2021."The Lyric says it has been able to furlough staff through the government scheme, which is coming to an end at the end of October.However the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will unveil an updated plan for the furlough scheme on Thursday.