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Ents editor ‘delighted’ with progress of publisher’s arts venue campaign

The coordinator of a regional press bid to keep arts venues alive says he is “delighted” with how the campaign is going.

JPIMedia’s entertainment content editor Peter Ormerod has welcomed the progress made by the regional publisher’s The Show Must Go On appeal, which aims to get help for theatres and other venues affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The campaign has been endorsed by organisations including the Theatres Trust, a national charity that campaigns to protect theatre buildings for current and future generations.

It has been launched as part of Your Time, JPIMedia’s new lifestyle brand, for which a team of staff create pages to be shared by the company’s daily and weekly titles across the country.

Coverage of the campaign by the Yorkshire Evening Post

Coverage of the campaign by the Yorkshire Evening Post

Peter told HTFP: “Having worked for local papers for nearly 20 years, I know how important these places are to our towns and cities. They’re where we go to laugh, dance, listen and learn about the world. And they are in dire need.

“The government has announced it is spending £1.57 billion to support the industry. But as vast as that sum may sound, it is unlikely to be enough.

And with so much of the arts world and the national media focused on London, there is a danger that swathes of the country will be overlooked. We want to make sure our venues get the help they need – wherever they are.

“It seemed absolutely right to me that JPIMedia should make a big noise on their behalf. We have a blend of national clout and local reach, so we are particularly suited to running this kind of campaign.”

The campaign combines features of widespread interest with pages about venues local to readers that “they have grown up with and know and love”.

Peter added: “I’m delighted with how the campaign has gone so far. We’ve had tremendous support from organisations including the Theatres Trust and the Music Venue Trust, which have helped us with interviews and quotes from big stars as well as fascinating personal stories from the people who run our venues.

“We have also been using our local contacts and expertise to create compelling pieces about places that matter to our readers. And speaking personally, I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received from right across the company.

“On a practical level, we’re advising readers on how they can best help these venues, and we hope that our campaign will keep these places in the spotlight and make sure they’re not ignored.

“We want their plight to be recognised by the people who have the most power to help. We can’t just stand by and watch these places disappear – we want to help them fight for their future.”