Eden Court: Reflections on our funding news

From Chief Executive, James Mackenzie-Blackman’s piece on the Eden Court web site.

The news on Sunday that the Scottish Government have awarded Eden Court further emergency support of £800,000 elicits many feelings, but mostly relief.

This investment from the Scottish Government, delivered through our colleagues at Creative Scotland, is simply a life-line. If we had not had confirmation of this support this month it would have been my corporate duty to recommend to Eden Court’s Board of Directors that we initiate, in February, a programme of mass redundancies in order to protect the business from facing insolvency in the summer 2021. I don’t need to do that now and the relief is immeasurable. 91% of our workforce is still furloughed, this is not uncommon in the performing arts. There is a small team of nine of us running Eden Court at the moment and I hope that goes some way of demonstrating how devastated our business has been over the last twelve months.

I refer to the new funding as investment because that is how we will consider it. An investment in our future, in the recognition of the role that Eden Court plays in the cultural life of the people of the Highlands and Islands, and in our ability to carry the weight of that trust very carefully, to put it to good use, to protect jobs, to support artists, protect our extraordinary three-century spanning building and to continue conversations with audiences and participants in whatever way we can.