The show must go on – West End set designers supported through COVID-19
A Cardiff-based business can continue designing and building sets for West End productions post-lockdown with the support of Lloyds Bank.
Bay Productions, which works with renowned opera and theatre producers including Cameron Mackintosh and the English National Opera, has secured a six-figure funding package via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
The funding will support the firm’s cashflow while it is unable to operate as normal during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The firm’s 50-strong team has seen a number of its projects paused. This includes the set for the new Disney musical, Frozen, which is scheduled to open in London later this year and sets for Matthew Bourne’s ballet The Red Shoes and Derren Brown’s live tour, Showman.
With the business’ overheads now covered for a period of extended closure, Bay Productions’ directors are carrying out preparatory work to ensure it is able to accommodate new projects, including a contract with the BBC for Eastenders, when it returns to production.
Peter Jones, director at Bay Productions, said: “The current pandemic has brought the shutters down not only for our business but for our clients who have large amounts invested in bringing shows to the theatre both in the UK and overseas.
“We launched our business towards the end of the last recession, which was a somewhat uncertain time. We’re once again facing into the unknown. However, the team at Lloyds Bank has brought a calmness to proceedings. The bank has put us in a position where we can bridge any gaps that appear in our cashflow while projects await completion. The funding will also enable us to spring back into action when the time comes.”
Jonathan Cave, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “I’ve watched Bay Productions grow over the last nine years as the team of designers has taken on bigger and more elaborate projects over time. The big-budget sets they produce are enjoyed by theatre-goers everywhere. It’s a real privilege to be able to support them, providing the financial stability needed for them to pick up where they left off when it is appropriate.
“The funding will also benefit the business’ furloughed staff while the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comes into force. We remain committed to being by the side of businesses, helping them find the right emergency funding as part of the £2bn of arrangement fee-free finance we’ve set aside to help firms affected by COVID-19.”