Royal Albert Hall Appeals for Donations Faced After Suffering Major Losses Due to COVID-19

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: © Stephen Frak)

Faced with potentially dire consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Albert Hall has launched a public appeal for donations.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, the iconic venue has lost over £18 million in income. While the UK Government has unveiled a £1.57 billion rescue fund for the cultural sector, the Royal Albert Hall is not eligible for the emergency grants. The institution has been advised to apply for a loan instead.

Craig Hassall, CEO of the Royal Albert Hall, said in the statement, “Six months on from enforced closure, and circa £18m down in lost income, we are not eligible for any of the Government’s emergency grants. This leaves us in an extremely perilous position, with no way of replacing our lost income, apart from a government loan which may or may not materialize.

“We raised concerns months ago about the potential for independent, unfunded organizations such as the Royal Albert Hall to miss out on government support, and especially having been held up by Government as a ‘crown jewel’ that must be saved,” Hassal added.

“We are fortunate to have supportive members and private donors who have given generously, but unfortunately, the ‘Rescue Package’ fanfare has given many potential donors the false sense that we are being sufficiently supported elsewhere. The Royal Albert Hall now faces a bleak future unless it can secure not only a repayable Government loan but also urgent donations to plug our current £20m shortfall,” concluded Hassall.