Park Life Fund
A new fund to secure the future of Park Theatre. Donate HERE.
As many of you know, in order to help prohibit the spread of Covid-19 we have taken the necessary yet distressing step of temporarily closing Park Theatre. This has meant cancelling all performances and classes for the foreseeable future. As a small charity with no regular government or Arts Council funding, this has led to a catastrophic loss of income and even since shutting our doors we’ve been working with our board and donors to try and address the shortfall.
An unprecedented level of personal support from a number of generous donors in the first week of lockdown raised an initial £300,000. This will enable us to manage minimum outgoings during the period of lockdown, maintain our building, keep our team on our payroll using the government’s job retention scheme and operate a skeleton staff during closure. But we still need to raise a further £100,000 to fund a 3 month run up to us being able to re-open; with no income generated during this time we will still need to pay staff, rehearse a production in each theatre, generate an audience, resume our community work and other areas of activity.
We have launched a new fund that could provide us with a lifeline. The Park Life Fund will mean that when the crisis is over we will be ready to support our community; welcome back the thousands of visitors we attract each year; continue to provide affordable accessible theatre; resume our outreach programmes with those in real need, and open our buzzing cafe bar as a safe space for all.
We recognise that this is a time of uncertainty for many. However, if you can afford to help out, your donation – however large or small – will play a vital part in helping us resume our role as an exceptional theatre in the heart of our Finsbury Park community. Donate HERE.
We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive messages we’ve received so far and we are thankful that we can count on the support of so many of you. Together, I know we can weather this storm.
I am looking forward to the time when, powered by passionate people, life and creative energy will flow through our building and community once more. I'm hugely grateful to all those who want to help life return to Park Theatre.
Provide a lifeline - donate to Park Life HERE
With thanks and warm wishes,
Artistic Director, Park Theatre
From our friends: What Park Life means to them
How will Park Life funds be used?
The Park Life fund will fuel 3 months full running costs (where we are not generating any income) to enable us to re-open when it is safe to do so. This will also insure against us having to use production funds (the pot of money we raise to produce our own shows) in the case of a longer period of closure, so that when we return, we are able to produce our own work. Crucially the Park Life fund will allow us to retain some reserves depending on the length of closure to safeguard our financial future.
Why does Park Theatre need extra funds when the government furlough scheme is available?
Firstly, we can’t furlough everyone. Furloughed staff aren’t allowed to work and we need to keep at least one person employed to, ironically, deal with payments to the furloughed workers. We also need someone fundraising so that they can continue to cover the shortfall as we ride through the next few months with no other income. Plus we need at least one person to cover marketing & box office presence (to deal with floods of enquiries and refund requests) and to keep in touch with our audiences digitally, staying in people’s minds with some social media content through this period of closure.
What happens when the furlough scheme ends, will Park Theatre reopen immediately?
When the furlough scheme ends we can’t reopen immediately; an arts charity like ours won’t be able to turn the taps back on the next day. There will be a significant period of time (potentially weeks, possibly up to three months) to remobilise, rehearse shows, and of course enough time to market them to audiences and sell tickets. We need to budget for paying all our running costs without having any box office income at that stage.
What are the costs other than staffing?
Staffing is a large part of our cost-base, but by far not the only cost involved in running a company and a public building.
Although we are freezing contracts with as many suppliers as possible (for example photocopier hire, cleaning, waste disposal) we need many others even if working with a severely reduced team: our broadband service so that our few non furloughed staff can dial into the server, we need our IT contract to support them all working from home, we need insurance for the building - and along with this are obliged to have our fire alarm and intruder alarm and CCTV maintained - we need the website hosting and support and need to keep our phone line active (and there are more).
What will the £300k raised so far be used for?
If we are able to re-open in September, we will be able to retain our production fund (the pot of money we have raised in order to produce our own shows) and the financial reserves we built over seven years to safeguard our future. If our opening is delayed until December, we will still have some money in our production fund and retain some of our financial reserves, although they will be considerably depleted, leaving the theatre in a vulnerable position. If we are unable to re-open until early 2021 – we will have survived, but will have exhausted all of our funds so will need to start building our financial stability from scratch, without the resource to produce shows, deliver community enagagement work, run classes and courses or deliver access performances.
Why are Park Theatre using GoFundMe - will my donation be safe?
We have chosen an external provider to help support our fundraising during this period of closure whilst we are operating with a skeleton staff. GoFundMe is dedicated to protecting every donation, which is why all donors and beneficiaries are covered by the industry’s first and only guarantee. Along with state-of-the-art fraud prevention technologies and a team of dedicated specialists working around the clock, the GoFundMe Guarantee ensures that all donations are used as originally intended.
Is there a closing date to donate to Park Life?
The Park Life fund will remain open for as long as Park Theatre remains closed. We are fundraising to support our eagerly anticipated re-opening. We will be posting regular updates on our website and via social media to keep all our donors and supporters informed.