ICSM Credit warning: Nuffield Southampton Theatres’ collapse is just the tip of the iceberg

Theatres could go the same way as the Nuffield Southampton Theatre trust as they are very vulnerable in this economic crisis - Ian Carrotte

Most theatres make a chunk of their cash from two things: the pantomime season and the bar. The Great British pantomime season runs roughly from late November to late January depending on the production. That is essentially 60 days with two performances a day with full of near to full houses at premium prices. If you have ever been to even the smallest theatre then the crush for the bar at the interval is impressive – and bar prices at theatres are usually higher than in a pub as this is one way to generate income. With the theatres all closed then money has dried up.

“Southampton’s theatres going into administration is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit, “the performing arts are part of one of the most vulnerable sectors in the economy during this Covid-19 pandemic. The nature of theatre is a mass gathering so along with cinemas, clubs, pubs, music venues they will be the last to come out of lock down.”

He has advised all suppliers to the sector including pubs, clubs and sporting venues to chase outstanding invoices as there is no guarantee those businesses will reopen.

No sympathy

“Expect the unexpected,” he said, “a private school went bust last week, several councils are in real trouble and could be declared insolvent and the amount of pubs and pub chains going to wall is unprecedented. You cannot afford any sympathy with any debtor if you want to survive. If they agree and stick to a payment plan that is different but do use our free temporary membership offer and free legal letters as the next few weeks will see more theatres closing for good.”

The Southampton Nuffield Theatres employed 80 full time staff of whom most were furloughed and last year the Trust that runs the three venues lost half a million pounds.

Shakespeare also had to contend with a plague and was forced to close his theatre for a time

“It is hard to criticise individual cases,” said Ian Carrotte, “but looking at the bare facts the Southampton theatres were very vulnerable to say the least. However it should be remembered that Shakespeare was forced to close his theatre during the plague, but it reopened succesfully and the rest is history.”

ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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