ONE of York’s major theatre venues is to lay off up to 60 workers and operate a skeleton system as the furlough scheme comes to an end. 

The Grand Opera House, in Clifton Street, York, has been unable to stage any live performances since the lockdown began.

It is understood that around 11 full-time staff and 50 casual workers are affected.

And that some staff are on a temporary lay off, with the potential to be brought back to the company in the coming months. 

Apart from the furlough scheme the venue has had no government or Arts Council support, being a commercial operator which is part of the Ambassador Theatre Group group (ATG), the company said. 

The group has contacted many of its staff to tell them they will be laid off.

In a statement, an ATG spokesperson said: “Against a backdrop of closed theatres, suspended productions and no clarity on a re-opening date without social distancing restrictions.

"ATG has informed individuals working in their venues that it will invoke their contractual short-term working and layoff clauses after the end of the government Job Retention Scheme.

“A support team remains in place covering theatre operations, programming, marketing, ticketing, IT, finance, HR and other areas to retain operational readiness.”

Yesterday The Press announced that its big Christmas show – the Berwick Kaler panto Dick Turpin Rides Again was being postponed for a year.