Support for students and staff affected by ALRA closure

We extend our full solidarity to all those impacted by the closure of The Academy of Live and Performing Arts (ALRA) including students, staff and the members of the creative workforce engaged by the institution. 

This will come as a devastating shock to students, who have already faced disruption to their studies throughout the pandemic, and now face yet more uncertainty. Members of the creative workforce receive this news of loss of income amidst an unprecedented fall in living standards and rising costs of living.

We welcome the announcement that students currently enrolled at ALRA will have the opportunity to complete their studies at Rose Bruford, and that teaching will be delivered in Wigan for those based at ALRA North. However, this will not overcome the anxiety caused by the announcement of major changes to students’ studying plans.

Closures of institutions and courses preparing students to enter the creative workforce do not exist in a vacuum. The creative industries of the UK generate £111 billion for the UK economy each year, but for these industries and the workers within them to thrive, the government must invest in the future creative workforce. Following the recent devastating cuts to the 2021-2022 T Grant Budget, where performing and creative arts courses in England saw their funding halved, the cumulative and direct effects of Westminsters’ attack on arts education are now being seen across the country.  Equity calls on the government to reverse recent cuts to arts and design higher education courses, ensure that ‘levelling up’ means providing arts training and education opportunities for all and to increase the number of high quality, paid creative apprenticeships.

Ruby Ablett (Chair, Young Members Committee) says “Getting into drama school is a dream for so many of us, we can’t imagine how challenging it must be for students impacted by the closure of ALRA. The Equity Young Members Committee sends you solidarity. Equity is here for any member who needs support.”

Dr Amanda Sackur of UCU says "UCU agrees with Equity that the closure of ALRA has been handled appallingly and offers solidarity to Equity members who worked or studied there."

Information and support for students

Information and support for the creative workforce