KNUTSFORD Little Theatre has received a welcome £10,000 boost to help the company cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Company chairman Jim Broughton said the grant from Cheshire East Council would help with managing the building service costs while the company had no income.

It will also cover the potential profits the company could expect to make from the productions it has had to cancel because of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Mr Broughton said: “I'm delighted to say that we have been fortunate enough to receive a grant of £10,000 from Cheshire East, to help us through these difficult times.

“At present, we do not have definitive guidance as to when we can resume our normal activities.

“We have looked at the possibility of introducing social distancing within the auditorium.

“However it does not look to be a feasible option, with occupancy figures in the region of 10 to 20 per cent.

“Aside from the obvious financial restrictions we don't feel this would be the most enjoyable experience for either the cast or audience members.”

He said the company believed the earliest production it could stage would be the pantomime, given the time durations of audition and rehearsal schedules.

He added: “We will continue to monitor the current guidelines and compare how other societies and similar entertainment venues operate.

“We're aiming, where possible, to reschedule the productions by 12 months.”

The company has decided to extend all current membership subscriptions to cover the 2020/21 season, and is inviting members to make a donation to the theatre in lieu of their normal membership subscription.

All the company’s finances go to staging productions and the upkeep of the building.

The committee last met on March 16, 95 years after the inaugural meeting of Knutsford Amateur Dramatic Society.