THE Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) will remain closed until at least January 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Up to 250 jobs could be affected.

The venue has 85 permanent staff, but it also hires casual staff and stewards, and uses volunteers.

Major productions that have been postponed or cancelled include The Lion King, the Welsh National Opera autumn season, The Book of Mormon and The Phantom of the Opera.


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The WMC closed on Tuesday, March 17 following the UK Government’s social distancing advice around mass gatherings.

In a statement on its website, WMC managing director, Mat Milsom said: “This week has been one of the toughest in my entire career.

“I've had to make the extremely difficult decision to close the venue until January 2021, as a result of the devastating impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the theatre industry.

“This decision was not taken lightly.

“It will affect our staff, volunteers, freelancers, our community, the young people we work with, suppliers and, of course, the 1.6 million visitors who visit our much-loved building each year.

“We will miss our audiences and are extremely grateful for the continued support from our members and donors.”

“However, with no information on when restrictions around mass gatherings may be lifted and no guidelines on how the UK theatre industry will operate when we are allowed to open, it was one that was necessary in order to secure the future of the organisation.

“We know that we will not be able to put performances on our stages again while social distancing measures are in place.

“we can’t open the theatre in a way that provides a good audience experience and is economically viable for the Centre and the producers who present their work here.

“All our major shows for 2020 have now been postponed or cancelled and we could remain closed until spring or even summer 2021.”

Mr Milsom said the venue also expected significant disruption to the availability of touring shows for years to come, as productions are being cancelled and no new shows are being created.

“We are speaking to producers of touring shows and to other venues daily, we are all feeling the effects and know that the situation is extremely serious and needs Government intervention and guidance urgently,” he said.

“We are extremely grateful to Arts Council Wales for their continued support and we are seeking additional funding to continue our charitable and artistic work through this difficult period.

“Wales Millennium Centre’s success has been built on its ability to generate significant levels of commercial revenues and when we closed our doors, we lost 85 per cent of our income overnight.

“The impact of a 12-month closure will result in around £20m of lost commercial revenue for Wales Millennium Centre and around £70 million for the Welsh economy.

“While we are closed, we will do everything we can to keep our artistic and charitable work going, and to ensure that we are ready for reopening as soon as it is practically possible.

“We don’t know when that might be, but we are looking forward to firing the imagination for generations to come.”