Equity and Hope Mill Theatre agree improved terms for performers and stage management

Stronger minimum pay and working conditions are at the centre of our recently updated House Agreement with the North West’s Factory of Creativity. The agreement covers actors, performers and stage management in all house produced productions at Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre and improves upon the one signed in 2020.

The agreement ensures that performance and stage management professionals working at the Hope Mill Theatre are protected by the terms of the Equity House Agreement and commits to stronger working practices, placing dignity at work and equality at the heart of all productions.

A flagship agreement

The agreement for the Hope Mill Theatre is considered a flagship agreement within the North West as most Equity agreements for fringe theatres tend to be concentrated within London. William Whelton, Executive Director of Factory of Creativity, and Karrim Jalali, Equity’s Industrial Official for Low Pay No Pay, hope that it will encourage other venues in the region to have the courage and aspiration to follow suit.

Karrim Jalali of Equity said, “The new agreement demonstrates Factory of Creativity’s continued commitment to fairer working conditions in the industry. They are leading by example within the region, even during difficult circumstances for the sector.”

Paul Liversey, Equity’s Regional Organiser for the North West said, “We hope this encourages theatres and producers working in the area to commit to better terms for workers. And we hope that this encourages professionals to feel more confident in pushing for fairer terms and conditions in their work, especially our members who have our full support behind them.”

The updated agreement is positive news for Equity’s Professionally Made Professionally Paid campaign, proving that by working with fringe employers, Equity can help them on their journey of professionalising the industry. It also highlights a pathway for theatre venues with no or very limited public funding to still make the finances work to pay their creative practitioners and give them fairer working conditions.

Will Whelton of Factory of Creativity said, “We are delighted to sign up to stronger terms with Equity. At Hope Mill Theatre, we are committed to making the best possible professional productions. The only way we can achieve that is if we pay professionally and provide the conditions for those working in the industry to flourish. Having experienced the precariousness of working within the fringe myself, I am dedicated to improving conditions and pay within the sector, and we urge all theatre venues and producers to do the same.”