Redundancies have been made at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It has been forced to lose 38 members of staff, following a two-month consultation process.

The news comes after trustees of Workington's Carnegie Theatre and Arts Centre announced last month they have also been forced to put staff at risk of redundancy.

Management of the Keswick theatre said the “difficult decision” comes following changes to the government furlough scheme, alongside the difficulties caused by social distancing restrictions, with the redundancies considered necessary to keep the theatre alive.

Due to the struggles surrounding the pandemic, plans to reopen the theatre’s doors are on hold for the foreseeable future, with staff hoping to welcome guests back in 2021.

Artistic director Liz Stevenson and executive director James Cobbold said: “We deeply regret every job loss, but these actions are necessary to ensure TBTL successfully reopens in 2021 and continues to serve its community and audiences.

“This has been a very difficult process for everyone involved but a reality of the situation that many theatres currently face.”

A team of 12 staff is currently preparing for the time of reopening next year, finding new and innovative ways to keep theatre-lovers engaged while performances continue to be put on hold.

Supporters have raised almost £90,000 towards the reopening, with one-off donations making up most of the sum, along with customers who had booked for 2020’s cancelled shows generously converting their tickets to donations.

Ms Stevenson and Mr Cobbold added: “We’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far.

“The show of support has been overwhelming and the number of people who have got in touch to offer to help is simply wonderful.”

Following that show of support, a campaign has now been launched in a bid to continue funding future projects for the theatre, as well as to prevent further job losses.

The JustGiving page appeals to the community – and all fans of the theatre – to donate the cost of a ticket, with plans to roll out a larger scheme later this year to fund the significant costs of reopening.

The centre has also recently been given a lifeline in the form of a grant from the Arts Council England’s Emergency Response Fund, enabling the team to withstand the immediate effects of the pandemic, as well as helping to ensure the theatre’s future survival.

The team also plans to submit an application for the government’s £1.57 billion package of support to the arts, culture and heritage sector.

To find out more about Theatre by the Lake’s future plans, and for more information on how you can help with the fundraising appeal, visit