The circus industry could “wither and die” if government funding is not made available during the coronavirus pandemic, according to one of the biggest names in the business.
Martin Burton, the founder of Zippos Circus, told Sky News his performers have been forced to rely on food banks since the lockdown because his company had “fallen through the cracks” for government funds.
He said one full-time staff member had been furloughed but his 20 other performers – including 12 Mongolians, five Kenyans, three Argentinians and two Moroccans – had been left “utterly without support.”
With the outbreak of COVID-19, Mr Burton said his performers were in “dire straits” due to their specific visas not allowing them to access public funds.
He added: “There are a number of people in exactly the same position. There are pockets of unemployed foreigners with no recourse to public funds.
“The clowns and the trapeze artists will be left hung out to dry…”
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