More than 200 independent cinemas across England are being supported this Christmas with £16 million in grants from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
202 cinemas have received funding so far from a £30 million pot allocated by the British Film Institute (BFI), on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. More grant applications from independent cinemas are also currently being assessed. Cinemas will be able to apply for another £14 million in grants in the new year as part of the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund. The new round of funding is in addition to the £30 million already being allocated by the BFI.
We’ve got a list of cinemas in the South West (see below)
The BFI has been accepting applications and awarding grants to independent cinemas throughout the autumn. Eligible cinemas were able to apply for Safety Grants, to help venues meet the immediate costs of implementing Covid-secure measures to protect staff and audiences, and larger Business Sustainability grants to help stabilise sites financially.
Cinemas need content
Recognising that cinemas need content, during this crisis, the Government’s Film and TV Production Restart Scheme has helped keep the cameras rolling at the other end of the screen supply chain. The £500 million scheme, which opened for applications in October, has assured nearly 100 productions that they will be supported if future losses are incurred due to Covid-19 and provided the confidence they need to restart filming.
Includes cast and crew over 70
The scope of the Restart Scheme has been extended so that cast and crew over the age of 70 can be included in the cover provided by the scheme. The changes to the scheme will enable productions to receive compensation for Covid-related delays affecting up to two cast or crew members over 70 years old. This extension will give productions that involve cast and crew over 70 the confidence to start or restart production, increasing employment opportunities for this group.
The deadline for productions to register for the scheme has also been extended until April 2021, giving more film and high-end TV projects the security to start shooting in the spring.
The majority of the grant funding allocated by the BFI has been awarded to cinema sites in every corner of the country, from Penrith to Peckham and Penzance, with cinemas outside London benefitting from 78% of funding to date.
Mark Jenkin, BAFTA award-winning director and producer, said: “Independent cinemas have always been a big part of my life. From regular Saturday matinees at the Regal in Wadebridge as a child, to recently watching my film BAIT play at so many unique venues across the UK, including the Newlyn Filmhouse, just down the hill from where it was made.
“For many people the local cinema provides a necessary communal cultural experience and it’s a great relief that the Culture Recovery Fund can help to ensure they can survive and thrive.”
The BFI worked closely with individual cinemas to provide detailed and bespoke support throughout the application process.
Ben Roberts, BFI chief executive, said: “Across the country, local independent cinemas are hubs and lifelines for communities and often the only form of culture and entertainment. From educational programmes and workshops for young people, to screenings for the elderly and audiences with specialised needs, these cinemas play such an important role in people’s lives. The Culture Recovery Fund will mean that many of these cinemas survive the current crisis, and go on to play a vital role in the recovery of local economies and communities, bringing people together to offer joy, solace and the magic of the big screen.”
The Regent Centre in Christchurch, Dorset, will benefit from £243,405 to help this community venue and local cinema weather the storm of Covid-19. The site, which also houses a museum display dedicated to the history of the 1930s art-deco venue, creates volunteering opportunities for more than 200 local people. This Christmas, the Regent Centre plans to show new family releases like The Secret Garden and The Elfkins alongside festive favourites like Miracle on 34th Street.
The Wells Film Centre, a family run cinema in Somerset, will benefit from £78,980 so it can continue to offer its screening programme for young people, parents and babies, its popular Tea Matinees as well as its regular talks with invited art and history speakers.
Sally Cooper, Proprietor, Wells Film Centre, said: “After what has been an exceedingly difficult year due to Covid-19, the financial support from the Culture Recovery Fund has helped secure the continued survival of the Wells Film Centre so that we can continue entertaining and bringing together our local community.”
£14 million in further support will be made available to cinemas through a second round of funding allocated by the BFI early next year from the remainder of the Culture Recovery Fund. Funding was held back to allow the Government to respond to the changing public health picture and will support cinemas at imminent risk of collapse before the end of this financial year.
Cinemas which have not yet applied as well as those that have already received support will be able to apply for additional funding to help cover reopening costs from April to June next year. Guidance for applicants and eligibility criteria will be published by the BFI; Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund have also published guidance for applications to the next round of grants. Cinemas are also able to apply to the repayable finance scheme for arts and cultural organisations.
David Harewood, actor (Tulip Fever, MI-5), said: “Independent cinemas are so very important to our local communities for the experience they give us all, whether it’s as a cinema goer or as a member of the team. Be it a homegrown British film or an all time international classic, we’ve all known the magic of seeing a film on the big screen for that very first time and the inspiration it brings.”
Hayley Squires, actor (I, Daniel Blake, Happy New Year Colin Burstead), said: “Seeing a film in a cinema is an unreplicable experience. There is something vital about the hold the big screen has on us. The cinema is a place for us all to gather and have a shared experience, while simultaneously also a very private and emotional one. Independent cinemas are starting to reopen – please support your local one.”
The list of cinemas funded to date includes the following cinemas in the South West – there are still cinemas whose funding is in progress so there will be more awards in the New Year. And of course, whilst some cinemas are open, many are closed at this time but supporting them so they will be there for audiences once restrictions are lifted is important to communities.
|Alexandra, Newton Abbot||WTW-Scott Cinemas South West Ltd||£42,143|
|Bournemouth Colosseum Cinema, Bournemouth||Lavish Life Ltd||£675|
|Capitol, Bodmin||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Central Cinema, Torquay||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Curzon, Clevedon||Curzon Clevedon Community Centre for the Arts Ltd||£93,189|
|Electric Picture House, Wotton-under-Edge||Electric Picture House Cinema Ltd||£27,324|
|Embassy Cinema, Ilfracombe||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Empire, Swindon (Greenbridge)||Empire Cinemas Ltd||£7,863|
|Empire Tivoli, Bath||Empire Cinemas Ltd||£7,863|
|Film Centre, Bridgwater||WTW-Scott Cinemas South West Ltd||£42,143|
|Filmhouse, Penzance||Newlyn Filmhouse Ltd||£67,406|
|Flora Cinema, Helston||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Guildhall Arts Centre, Gloucester||Guildhall Arts Centre||£41,270|
|Kings Cinema, Kingsbridge||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Lighthouse, Newquay||WTW Cinemas Ltd||£171,566|
|New Carlton Cinema, Okehampton||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Orpheus, Bristol||WTW-Scott Cinemas South West Ltd||£42,143|
|Palace Cinema, Cinderford||The Palace Cinema Ltd||£49,945|
|Palace Cinema, Devizes||Picturedrome Electric Theatre Co Ltd||£126,458|
|Pavilions, Teignmouth||Pavilions Teignmouth||£7,036|
|Phoenix, Falmouth||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Plaza Cinema, Dorchester||Picturedrome Electric Theatre Co Ltd||£126,458|
|The Plaza, Truro||WTW Cinemas Ltd||£171,566|
|Plymouth Arts Centre||Plymouth Arts Centre||£51,789|
|Radway, Sidmouth||WTW-Scott Cinemas South West Ltd||£42,143|
|Rebel Cinema, Bude/Stratton||Rebel Cinemas Ltd||£10,000|
|Reel Cinema, Chippenham||Reel Cinemas Ltd||£9,997|
|Regal Cinema, Redruth||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Regent Centre, Christchurch||The Regent (Christchurch) Ltd||£243,405|
|Rex Cinema, Wareham||Purbeck Charitable Film Trust Ltd||£3,707|
|Ritz, Burnham-on-Sea||S&B Cinemas Ltd||£47,142|
|Royal Cinema, St Ives||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Savoy Cinema, Exmouth||WTW-Scott Cinemas South West Ltd||£42,143|
|Savoy Cinema, Penzance||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Sherborne Cinema, Gloucester||Western Theatres Ltd t/a Sherborne Cinema||£45,625|
|Studio Cinema, Coleford||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|The Watermark, Plymouth||Ivybridge Town Council||£7,164|
|Tivoli Cinema, Tiverton||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Totnes Cinema||Totnes Cinema CIC||£63,148|
|Wellesley Cinema, Wellington||Merlin Cinemas Ltd||£69,200|
|Wells Film Centre||Wells Film Centre||£78,980|
|Westlands Entertainment Venue, Yeovil||Westlands Entertainment Venue||£5,793|
|Westway, Frome||S&B Cinemas Ltd||£47,142|
|White River Cinema, St Austell||WTW Cinemas Ltd||£171,566|
Please note that the award amounts listed is the total award to the cinemas – in many case this comprises a health & safety award (capped at £10k) and/or a business sustainability award. Some cinemas which have received health & safety funding may also be in the process of applying for business sustainability awards which would be announced at a later date.