The show goes on for Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, as it receives a £100,000 grant from Havering Council to help the cultural landmark recover from Covid 19 restrictions.
The significant financial boost was made available through Havering Council’s Additional Restrictions Grant, a discretionary fund set up by the Government for Councils to help businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, Havering Council has distributed over £60 million in Government grants to businesses across the borough. Queen’s Theatre opened its doors again alongside other hospitality businesses on Monday 17 May 2021, and has already started staging a new production of West End comedy 'Neville’s Island', and rehearsing Essex musical 'Love Letters'. Despite losing a majority of its income during the lockdown, Queen’s Theatre remained a cornerstone of the community, staging four digital theatre productions for the public, as well as developing online activities for socially isolated people and continuing to run Youth Theatre workshops online. The Theatre also recently reopened its community hub projects, hosting daily classes for parents and babies, and older people, as well as support local artists. Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said: “As we continue to follow the Government’s roadmap out of this pandemic, it is important to do everything we can to recognise businesses that have suffered the most throughout this crisis, and the burden this will have on the whole community. “Queen’s Theatre is such an integral part of Havering’s culture, and this money will go some way to ensuring they can continue to provide great entertainment and community services for generations to come.” Mathew Russell, Executive Director of Queen’s Theatre, said: “This grant is absolutely invaluable to the Theatre's tricky recovery after such a difficult 14 months for everyone. We've been so very grateful for all of the public donations and emergency support, none more so than that from our stakeholders London Borough of Havering. “As 85 per cent of our income is usually earned, it's been a real daily struggle whilst the theatre remained at such limited capacity, but this extraordinary sign of support will help us keep the doors open, as we rebuild the theatre’s vital work at the very heart at our community over the coming months.” Havering’s Discretionary Grant Scheme has provided vital funds to a wide range of local businesses that have been affected by Covid 19, according to those most in need. The Council has held several live question and answer sessions with businesses to give them a say in where these limited funds would be best spent.