Theatres in Scotland, which initially had a conditional reopening date of today (Monday), will remain closed until at least October.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that pending a review on October 1, venues will be able to welcome visitors from October 5, stating that the move aims to reduce the size of gatherings and limit the spread of infection.

Sturgeon added: “I must stress again that it remains an indicative date and a final decision can be taken only much nearer the time.”

Earlier this month, theatres, music venues and comedy venues across Scotland were granted a £15m emergency recovery fund as part of a £59m package for culture and heritage.

The Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund also includes a £5m grant programme for freelancers.

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall in London has launched an “urgent” appeal for public donations worth £20m to ensure its survival.

The venue is a charity and is therefore ineligible for a grant from the £1.57bn arts and heritage rescue package announced in July. It can, however, apply for a loan.

The hall has reportedly lost £18m since its enforced lockdown in March and chief executive Craig Hassell said it had been unable to replace lost income and is dependent on a government loan.

He said: “We raised concerns months ago about the potential for independent, unfunded organisations such as the Royal Albert Hall to miss out on government support, and especially having been held up by Government as a ‘crown jewel’ that must be saved.

“With millions of pounds of essential building work called to a halt owing to Covid we had hoped to be eligible for a capital grant but have been informed that, as we are not a portfolio of nationally spread sites, we are not eligible for this scheme.

“We are fortunate to have supportive members and private donors who have given generously, but unfortunately, the ‘Rescue Package’ fanfare has given many potential donors the false sense that we are being sufficiently supported elsewhere.

“The Royal Albert Hall now faces a bleak future unless it can secure not only a repayable government loan, but also urgent donations to plug our current £20m shortfall.”

Image: Mikehume / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Edited for size