Sage Gateshead, home to the annual Brass in Concert Championship (BiC), has announced the start of redundancy consultations that could lead to the loss of up to 180 jobs.
The 2020 BiC Festival weekend was cancelled earlier this year, and it has now been reported that the venue, which has become the hugely popular home for the event since 2005, is facing losses of up to £10 million by the end of the financial year due to the effects of the Coronavirus lockdown.
The iconic award winning arts centre perched on the banks of the River Tyne has seen the vast majority of its 500 staff furloughed.
It is hoped that the venue will host the European Brass Championships in the next few years following the opening of a bid process by Brass Bands England.
Small public subsidy
Although a campaign was set up to raise £3 million over the next three years to mitigate the long term impact, the venue, which is run as a charity, has stated that it has been hit particularly hard as over the past decade it has reduced the amount of its public subsidy to a ration of 5:1.
The 45 day consultation programme will now begin, although a spokesperson for the venue told the local media that they still hope to be able to plan for a "smaller, more flexible autumn season", with live music making a return in "a safe and socially distanced way".