National Theatre’s income rises by 43% despite fall in donations

10 Mar 2023 News

National Theatre

The Royal National Theatre saw its income rise by 43% last year, despite a fall in donations, according to its financial accounts ending 27 March 2022.

Overall income rose by £24.5m, from £56.3m to £80.8m, despite donations and legacies falling by £3.1m on the year prior. 

Income from the theatre’s charitable activities rose from £3.8m in 2020-21 to £18.3m in 2021-22, which is an increase of 381%.  

Other trading activities offered another income boost, going from £3.7m in 2020-21 to £28.1m in 2021-22.

“This positive movement relates mainly to the success and receipt of funds relating to our two-year Covid recovery Major Funding Campaign,” the report reads. 

Income still below pre-pandemic levels

However, the theatre’s income is still well below pre-pandemic levels – with its income being £106.4m in 2019-20 and £107.1m in 2018-19. 

Core revenue grant funding from Arts Council England (ACE) accounted for £17m of the exempt charity’s total income (22%).

In 2020-21, it also received £17m of ACE grant funding but this accounted for just over 30% of its income for that financial year. 

Its expenditure for 2021-22 was £80.1m, up from £47.8m the year prior. 

Some £51.9m of this was spent of charitable activities, £26.1m on other trading activities and £2.1m on raising donations and legacies. 

Almost 100 less staff

Staff costs, including social security and pensions, accounted for £30.6m of the charity’s expenditure. 

The accounts show 90 staff left the National Theatre following its redundancy programme which was undertaken as part of its £80m Covid Recovery Plan. 

In 2020-21, staff took pay cuts equating to £2.5m. The executive took a 25% pay cut across the previous financial year and all other staff took a 20% pay cut from May to September 2020. 

‘One of the most challenging years in its history’

Damon Buffini, chair of the National Theatre, said it had been “one of the most challenging years of operation in the National Theatre’s history” so was “struck” by what it had managed to achieve. 

“It was a year that asked every member of the company for dedication and determination, coming back from an unprecedented 15 months of intermittent closure. Every area of the work faced disruption – endlessly reworked schedules and budgets, interrupted rehearsals, cancelled performances, and cast and crew stepping into unexpected public roles with real professionalism.”

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