Securing the Future of London’s Theatres

On Thursday 3rd February the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) hosted an event at THE STAGE’s Building of the Year, the magnificently restored and reinvigorated Theatre Royal Drury Lane, to launch a new report commissioned by them to assess, analyse and identify ways of “Securing the Future of London’s Theatres”.

The report, written by urban design specialists Publica, explores practical ways in which theatres, the bids (Business Improvement Districts), developers, and the council can all work together.

Subtitled “A Call to Action”, the report raises awareness of the specific needs of London’s historic theatres and their role as a vital asset to the city’s night time economy, central to pandemic recovery. London’s theatres play a crucial role in the city’s ecosystem, supporting over 20,000 jobs and contributing £133 million in annual VAT to the Treasury. 

Setting out the unique operational and access requirements of the London theatre industry, the report calls for better collaboration between theatre operators and those responsible for London’s public realm, highways and land usage, to protect the invaluable cultural heritage that has been a key part of London’s identity for over 350 years.

The document was created in consultation with SOLT members and The Theatres Trust during workshops, surveys and site visits between 2019 and 2021, and is addressed to a wide range of stakeholders including MPs, Local Authorities, the GLA, TFL, London’s Business Improvement Districts, landowners and developers. It is well worth a read for its thoroughness, creativity and insights.

You can download the report here.