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The Ulster Business Podcast with Bank of Ireland UK: Episode 36 - Anne McReynolds, The MAC

We must protect some remnant of civic and cultural society after the Covid pandemic, she tells John Mulgrew

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Anne McReynolds

Anne McReynolds

Anne McReynolds

Arts venues must be saved to ensure “there is some remnant of civic and cultural society remaining” after the Covid pandemic, one leading chief has warned.

 

And Anne McReynolds, chief executive of the MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre), says the organisation has lost around £1.3m in revenue, opened just 33 days in 2020 and has already let go around 45-50 workers.

She says the business has “flatlined” since the coronavirus pandemic began, and that it cannot survive as just a hospitality business, with just its cafe and restaurant.

She also says “we (the business) are never going back to the way things were” and it must “embrace change” to deal with whatever lies ahead.

“The entire business model depends on people coming in to the building… in the future we will diversify and reduce our reliance on the physical presence,” she told the Ulster Business Podcast with Bank of Ireland UK.

“That (business) has flatlined. We have always prided ourselves on having a big contribution to the animation of the city centre, and to a non-retail offer in the city centre.

“We opened 33 days in 2020. That is looking at in excess of £1.3m loss in revenue.

“When we come out of this it is important that there is some sort of remnant of civic and cultural society remaining, to play its part in the social and economic recovery in Northern Ireland. In the absence of all that, what was it all for?”

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