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Glyndebourne announces new freelancer fund

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Glyndebourne, the country house and opera house located near Lewes, East Sussex which is usually home to the annual Glyndebourne Festival Opera, has announced a new fund for creative freelancers.

The Glyndebourne Freelancer Fund will be used to support freelancers in the performing arts sector who have seen their income source massively impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund will be developed this year and Glyndebourne has formally committed to ring-fencing funds equal to ten per cent of its annual freelancer costs to help support the venue’s contracted freelancers.

Commenting on the company’s plans, Glyndebourne Managing Director Sarah Hopwood said: “The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been catastrophic for the performing arts, with the negative effects falling disproportionately on the sector’s freelance workers.”

“Over the past 15 months, we have all become much more aware of the imbalance between performing arts companies and the freelancers who make up 70 per cent of the theatre workforce.”

“Glyndebourne will only survive and thrive if we can call on the skills and expertise of those people and we’re determined to play a part in helping to create a new, more equitable support structure for them. Whilst we can’t change the future for freelancers on our own, we can lead the way, so I am really delighted to announce the launch of the Glyndebourne Freelancer Fund.”

Hopwood added: “Glyndebourne suffered substantial financial losses when it was forced to cancel its 2020 festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is forecast to lose millions more this summer by putting on a socially distanced season with only 50 per cent of its usual audience permitted.”

“It intends to release additional tickets when the current restrictions on theatre capacity are lifted by the government. The company survived the crisis thanks to its relatively strong financial position going into the pandemic and is now focused on ensuring it thrives long into the future.”

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