A THEATRE boss has welcomed the introduction of a new Government task force which she hopes will help save the arts scene in Worcester.

With theatres and cinemas closed due to coronavirus, the arts and cultural scene in Worcester is facing a troubled and uncertain future.

The Three Choirs Festival has already been postponed until next year while the Worcester Show and Worcester Beer, Cider and Perry Festival have also been cancelled. Worcester Live Charitable Trust which operates the Swan Theatre, Huntingdon Hall and Worcester Repertory has organised a £10,000 funding campaign to help the arts scene survive the crisis, so far raising £5,768. Sarah-Jane Morgan, chief executive of Worcester Live Charitable Trust, which runs the Swan Theatre has welcomed this month's Government's appointment of a new culture commissioner and a taskforce to aid the sector's recovery from coronavirus.

The Culture Secretary has appointed Neil Mendoza as Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal. Mrs Morgan said: "This is a very welcome message from the government, they are responding to the needs of our industry. For many people cultural engagement is a significant element of their lives, and it is vital that we are able to emerge from Covid-19 in a robust and prepared fashion so our patrons are reassured and comfortable to return to our venues, I hope the culmination of this taskforce will provide us with solid foundations to work from and in turn we can then provide our customers with environments in which they feel comfortable to return to."

Arts director Ben Humphrey said: “There is much work to be done if this essential part of the economy and our national identity is to survive. But the onus should not be entirely on the government. Arts organisations too will have to develop their working practices and in some cases, redefine what is essential to them. Audience appetites and needs will change both physically and artistically, and as a sector, we must respond positively to that. The world needs creative thinking now more than ever before, and as a sector, we have some of the finest creative minds out there. We cannot afford to take a ‘back seat’ on the recovery of our industry.” To donate visit www.worcester-rep.co.uk