The Royal Albert Hall has launched an ‘urgent’ plea for £20million to help it weather the financial fallout of coronavirus.

The Kensington venue reports an £18m loss of income plus more than £6.5m in refunded ticket sales, exhausting its reserves in the six months since it closed its doors.

The RAH was not eligible for an emergency grant from the Government’s £1.57 billion arts rescue package, and has been advised to apply for a loan which, if successful, will arrive in December.

The plea to the public comes as the venue approaches its 150th anniversary next year