Drone footage shows Customs House illuminated in red to support live entertainment industry
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The Customs House stood by in red on Monday night (July 6) in solidarity with those in the live entertainment industry.
Theatres and performance venues across the country joined the #LightItUpRed campaign to highlight the importance of the sector.
It came after the Government announced its £1.57 billion support package for the sector on Sunday, July 5, amid growing pressure from those in the industry.
Theatres, along with museums, galleries, music venues, independent cinemas and heritage sites, will be eligible for the emergency grants and loans to help them stay afloat while their doors are closed.
The Customs House technical manager, Jordan Embleton, captured drone footage of the venue illuminated in red as it waits for its cue to be able to reopen its doors.
The Mill Dam theatre closed for the foreseeable future when the country went into lockdown in March.
Its executive director Ray Spencer MBE welcomed yesterday’s news, but fears it may not welcome back audiences until 2021.
The cancellation of its upcoming Christmas pantomime would see the venue suffer a substantial loss of revenue.
Guidance for a phased reopening of the performing arts sectors is expected to be published this week, but Culture Secretary Oliver Dowdon has previously warned that a return to theatre performances without social distancing remains “some way off”.
Taking to Twitter last night Mr Spencer wrote: “Tonight @thecustomshouse we will #LightItInRed to celebrate our ‘Crown Jewels’, the creatives and performers who make the magic.
“Seventy percent of our industry are freelancers and they must be supported, otherwise when we do open the stages will be unlit, bare and empty of talent.”
Speaking to the Gazette on Monday, Mr Spencer said the theatre would support those in the arts industry in South Tyneside.
He commented: “My heart goes out to those individual creators who work in our community and do so much to entertain and engage people in the arts, who are still unable to earn any money from their skills. We are going to try and support them as much as we can going forward.”