Theatres are calling for Government to share the money they've promised as support

Theatres say the longer this goes on the harder it will be for them to recover. Credit: ITV News West Country

Theatres say they cannot keep waiting for the Government's promised money as venue staff across the West Country lose their jobs.

A rescue package of £1.57 billion had been promised to the arts at the beginning of July but theatres say they still don't know how much of the money they're likely to get, and can't hold out any longer.

A popular theatre in Street is planning to mothball its operations and make all its staff redundant despite the promised funding.

I would ask them to support regional theatres now. Not in a week, not in a few days. Immediately. Strode Theatre has started this process now but we're not alone. We're not unique. This challenge is being felt up and down the country, and the way back is going to be much harder than the way there.

Robin Peters, Manager Strode Theatre

Live theatre audiences are allowed from August but only with around a quarter of a seats for sale to make space for social distancing.

There is still no date set for the return of full live audiences, what most theatres need to make performances commercially viable.

The Wharf Theatre in Devizes was given an anonymous donation of £10,000. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Wharf Theatre in Devizes is one of the more fortunate venues, saved from permanent closure by an anonymous donation of £10,000.

But that's not the case for many theatres across the West Country.

100 jobs are at risk at Plymouth's Theatre Royal and the Bristol Old Vic announced it was in redundancy talks with a third of its 60 staff. 

Theatre Royal Plymouth Credit: ITV News

Half the staff at Exeter's Northcott are at risk of losing their job and redundancies are also on the cards for staff at The Plough in Torrington.