Harrogate International Festivals (HIF), a registered charity which organises the Harrogate Literature Festival and Harrogate Music Festival, has made half of its staff redundant.

The event organiser released a statement saying it cannot survive without income, after its “most vital revenue streams disappeared overnight”.

HIF says that is receives 98% of its income from ticket sales, sponsorship and donations, but the scale of the pandemic has “left the festivals sector reeling and we are not immune.” It is now asking for donations to help keep it afloat.

Fiona Movley, chair of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “Whilst we are often recognised as an extremely resilient organisation, agile and adaptable for over 50 years, times are still extremely challenging and HIF unfortunately did not qualify for the recent emergency Arts Council England grants that have been reported in the media.

“Between March and August this year, HIF took a hit of £850,000 through lost revenues, ticket sales, hospitality closures and sponsorship. As we look ahead to the coming months, we see no signs of change for our arts charity. It is now, perhaps more than ever before, that we turn to our sponsors and supporters to continue this vital work.”