ICSM Business News: Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios collapses into administration while other venues struggle

ICSM Business News: Hammersmith’s Riverside Studios collapses into administration while other venues struggle 

By Harry Mottram: The actors’ trade publication The Stage, has revealed that the Hammersmith venue in London for the performing arts has entered administration. Matthew Hemley reported: “Riverside Studios is to enter administration, with the trust behind the Hammersmith-based venue blaming the "significant burden" of debt incurred by its recent redevelopment. However, the Riverside Trust, which has run the venue since 1983, insisted that the venue would continue to trade under administration while a new buyer was found to take on ownership of the arts venue.”

The Stage has reported that the venue will remain open while a new owner is looked for with the current line up of shows to take place.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said they understood there was more than a two million pound overspend last year. He said: “Few businesses can withstand that sort of loss but as part of the cultural scene in London it is hoped that a new buyer can be found. At ICSM we are concerned that the venue’s suppliers do not lose out as they are usually the first casualty when things go wrong.”

Like so many businesses venues whether cinemas, arts complexes and theatres have struggled with historic debt and the knock-on effects of the Cost-of-Living Crisis, the Covid shutdowns and the hikes in energy prices which have hit them hard. In 2020 Nuffield Southampton Theatres went bust citing those very same problems while in the movie sector Cineworld remains in danger in this country after its American owners hit the buffers went bankrupt last year with some £5 billion worth of debt. The knock-on effect could see 129 cinemas across the UK close with thousands of jobs lost and the many suppliers to the movie theatres left with nothing.

Previously several theatres have collapsed into administration due to a number of factors. Cuts from arts funding groups such as local councils and programmes that don’t attract enough tickets sales are two common ones. A theatre can pay its way for a year on one big production such as a pantomime which sells to packed houses for a month or more – but it has been known from theatre managers to take a snobbish view of traditional shows in favour of more experimental productions that don’t sell so well. The Northcott Theatre, The Brewhouse Theatre and the Epstein have all gone bust in the past along with the Leicester Haymarket Theatre, Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, Artrix – the arts centre in Bromsgrove.


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

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