Fleur has today written to the Chancellor urging support for Putney Arts Theatre.
The text of the letter reads:
Putney Arts Theatre and expanding grant funding for charities
I hope this letter finds you well
I writing to you to raise the problems facing Putney Arts Theatre and the wider issue of charities and social enterprises accessing vital Government support schemes to navigate them through coronavirus.
Putney Arts Theatre is Putney’s only community theatre and is home to Group 64, which I believe may be the largest youth theatre in the country, providing drama classes, holiday workshops and productions for ages 4 – 21. It is a cornerstone of community life in Putney.
I spoke to them recently and they shared how Coronavirus is impacting them. This is what they said:
“Covid-19 has hit us hard. We have cancelled six productions, Easter holiday workshops, and drama classes for the summer term, leaving us with a shortfall of more than £30,000. We had thought that the Chancellor’s recent announcement of a £25,000 cash grant for small businesses would save us, but it appears that this is available only for businesses in receipt of the Business Rates Retail Discount, whereas we receive Mandatory Charitable Relief.”
It is so important that – alongside supporting businesses and the economy – we preserve these vital community organisations and spaces during this crisis. They play a hugely important role in our society and many of them are staring into the abyss. We must not forget them and allow them to go under.
Please can you consider expanding access to the retail, hospitality and leisure grant scheme for community theatres eligible to mandatory charitable relief.
Member of Parliament for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields