It is with a sense of gratitude and hope for the future that we welcome the UK Government’s announcement that Sadler’s Wells will receive a loan of £4,250,000 from the latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund.  

This loan will ensure the organisation’s survival and enable us to start laying the groundwork for a full reopening.   

By closing our theatres and reducing the work we are able to achieve, the COVID-19 crisis has taken away our ability to earn over 80% of our income. The emergency support we have received from the UK Government and Arts Council England to date was intended to support our survival until April 2021. This loan is therefore vitally important in supporting our ongoing operations and future recovery.    

Crucial to this recovery is our ability to welcome people back to our theatres. We are very excited to be able to reopen to socially distanced audiences from 17 May. These performances will be a hugely welcome first step, as full reopening is critical to our long-term survival. We are hopeful that we will be able to open completely, as set out in the UK Government’s roadmap, later this summer. 

Receiving this loan recognises our ongoing impact, innovation and resilience despite the difficulties of the past year. During this time of closure, we have embraced digital opportunities through an unprecedented increase in activity on our Digital Stage. Through our digital platforms and partnerships in 2020, we shared 25 dance workshops, 14 full-length works, 8 screendance films, 4 audio-described works and hosted a global gala online. This programme received more than 5 million views globally and provided work and income to hundreds of artists and freelancers. 

Artistic Director & CEO, Alistair Spalding and Executive Director, Britannia Morton said: “The Culture Recovery Fund loan ensures our continued survival and means we can look forward to welcoming audiences, artists, professionals and colleagues back to our theatres. We are very excited to be able to reopen with socially distanced performances, starting with our Associate Company English National Ballet’s performances of Reunion, from 17 May. We are grateful that this loan means we can continue to maintain our position as the nation’s dance house, supporting the dance sector nationally and internationally.”


It is with gratitude and profound relief that we welcome the UK Government’s announcement that Sadler’s Wells will receive a grant of £2,975,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund to support the organisation’s survival until April 2021.  

By closing our theatres and vastly reducing the work we are able to do, the coronavirus crisis has taken away our ability to earn over 80% of our income. We have done all we could to secure our financial position during this time. To reduce cost, we furloughed almost 90% of our colleagues through the UK government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, cut salaries across the organisation, and made the difficult decision to reduce our current permanent and fixed term workforce by 18%. 

We were successful in receiving a grant from the Arts Council of England’s Emergency Response Fund and are incredibly grateful for all the donations our generous supporters have made to us in this time.  

Despite all these measures, receiving support from Culture Recovery Fund was critical for Sadler’s Wells’ survival. These funds will enable us to remain open, continue to support artists, stage live performances for socially distanced audiences, create digital content for everyone to enjoy and participate in, continue our learning and engagement and artist development work, and start laying the groundwork for a full reopening. 

Artistic Director & CEO, Alistair Spalding and Executive Director, Britannia Morton said:  

‘We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to the UK government, Treasury, DCMS and Arts Council England for this vital lifeline to ensure Sadler’s Wells can stay afloat into 2021. The Culture Recovery Fund provides us with the support we need to continue to survive the pandemic and to deliver on our mission and vision as a world-leading home for dance. 

With this support we will continue to make and share world-class dance for audiences from across the UK and around the world. We will create opportunities for artists, companies, freelance professionals, and colleagues whose talent and skill are the backbone of this organisation. We will continue to innovate and invent, work toward a more diverse and representative sector, and through dance reaffirm our common humanity in a time when empathy is needed more than ever. 

With this funding, we are committed to doing all we can to play our role in rebuilding our sector and cultural life in the UK as we all face unprecedented challenges and navigate continued uncertainty along our path to recovery.’ 

Board of Trustees Chair Nigel Higgins said:  

‘We are all very grateful to the UK government and Arts Council of England for their critical support in this challenging time. These funds will enable Sadler’s Wells to remain resilient and continue to be a vital part of the UK’s creative industry. This investment ensures we can be part of the much needed economic and cultural recovery of the UK as we all continue to grapple with the impacts of the pandemic.’