Political- The theatre is subsidized by the public purse in the form of local authorities and the arts council (Arts council, 2010). However, funding is under continual pressure after cuts made to the arts budget by the coalition government (Mintel, 2012). This has been evident since 2008 where the arts council of England stopped funding of the theatre meaning it is only supported by Winchester City Council, Hampshire city council, sponsors and friends of Theatre Royal Winchester (Burn, 2008), for example, sponsorship from the Hampshire Chronicle and wave FM (Theatre Royal Winchester, 2012). This could have an impact on the Theatre industry as it may mean they are forced to take a more commercial approach and lead to increased prices to ensure that they stay afloat. A recent 2012 survey on local authority arts spending by Arts Development UK has revealed there is a decline in partnership work between Arts Councils and local authorities. Also, 47 local authority arts services have closed since 2003 and average expenditure on the arts is 16% down on 2010 and 38% down since 2008 and 15% of local authorities in England and Wales have lost their arts services since 2000. The outlook is also looking bleak as Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association reveals a planned 15% cut to arts services for 2012-13. The local Government Association is warning that unless central government policy changes, local funding for arts in England and Wales will have practically disappeared by 2020. The distribution of Arts Council funding across the English regions reveals a considerable imbalance: London gets over 50%, Midlands 12% and South East only 4% (2010-11 figures) (Gillet, 2013).
Due to the UK market slipping back into recession, this continues to restrain consumer spending and the performing arts as a whole are not immune from this common trend as the spending power of customers is hindered. It is also evident that household incomes have been