Local BBC radio stations gets back to business

Local BBC Radio is launching Make a Difference – Back to Business, to support the arts sector in England.

The initiative will run across 40 Local Radio Mid-Morning programmes and see presenters go behind the scenes of museums, galleries and theatres leading up to the eagerly-anticipated curtain-raiser in May.

Today, BBC presenters will shine a spotlight on the lengths venues have gone to ensure their survival while taking a closer look at preparations being put in place for the return of visitors.

Stations will be revisiting the venues for the official reopening date, many of which will take place next month.

The arts sector has been particularly hard hit since the country was first placed into lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic and many venues haven’t opened their doors since March 2020.

Stories from some of the most famous venues up and down the country including Leeds Playhouse, the Bolton Octagon, Museum of Liverpool, Ronnie Scott’s in London, The National Space Centre in Leicester, The Lowther Pavilion in Lytham St Annes, the Belgrade Theatre and Theatre Absolute in Coventry as the city prepares to be UK City of Culture, and the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, among others will broadcast throughout the day as local BBC radio stations reflect back on a challenging year for the arts sector.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire is telling the story of Giffords Circus and how it was rebuilt following the death of its founder, Nell Gifford, which saw actress Helena Bonham-Carter deliver the eulogy at her funeral last year.

BBC Radio York will be featuring the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough as it prepares to reopen with its first production The Greatest Play in The History Of The World on 18th May.

While BBC Radio Sheffield visit the Danum Gallery, Library and Museum in Doncaster as well as going behind the scenes of the iconic home of snooker, the Crucible Theatre, hearing from Artistic Director, Rob Hastie, about how the pandemic has changed Sheffield theatres forever.

Chris Burns, Head of Audio and Digital for BBC England, says: “This is a unique opportunity for us to tell the story of how local venues have survived the last year and how they are adjusting to life after lockdown and counting down to reopening.”

Stations will be doing a mixture of live and outside broadcasts from selected venues as well as reporter inserts which will feature across Local Radio during the Mid-morning programmes.