Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure

Just the ticket: Independent cinema gets clip from £1.57blln Culture Recovery Fund cash

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 05 October 2020 6:56

Just the ticket: Independent cinema gets clip from £1.57blln Culture Recovery Fund cash

As Cineworld announces plans to close its 128 UK cinemas putting 5,500 jobs at risk there was good news for one of Gloucestershire’s independents. 

Sherborne Cinema in Kingsholm, Gloucester’s, is to receive a slice of the Government’s £1.57billion Culture Recovery Fund. 

It is one of four independent cinema’snamed as a recipient by culture secretary Oliver Dowden,who revealed what werethe first awards made by the British Film Institute (BFI) to support England’s screen sector. 

A total of 42 cinemas will share more than £650,000 with Sherborne Cinema in Gloucester collecting £8,940, Totnes Cinema in Totnes, £4,602, and the Regent Centre in Christchurch, £5,292. 

Meanwhile, 14 Reel Cinemas across the country, including the one in Chippenham, will share £139,958 for health and safety equipment. 

The first tranche of money from a £30million pot is being allocated by the BFI on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 

Mr Dowden said: “This first wave of emergency funding will help dozens of independent cinemas around the country, preserving their unique character and history for future generations. 

He said the cash would help protect jobs, but now it was up to the public to “play their part too” and book seats. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the UK’s cinemas and film and TV production industry were “a key part of our culture. They provide thousands of jobs and help to entertain the nation.

Cllr Jeremy Hilton, councillor for Kingsholm and Wotton, said: “The Sherborne Cinema is in the heart of Kingsholm. It's a lovely place to watch a film on the big screen. 

“I am delighted that the Sherborne Cinema has received a grant from the government. It has been a hard time for small independent cinemas due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“The £8,940 grant will help this wonderful cinema financially and allow it to continue to show the latest films." 

According to the Government cinemas are able to apply for Safety Grants to help independent venues meet the additional costs of creating a safe and Covid-secure environment for staff and audiences, as well as Business Sustainability grants of up to £200,000 to help stabilise venues as they reopen. 

The £30million fund will remain open for applications until 30 October. 

Cineworld said it social distancing restrictions and delays in the release of some big budget films, like the latest James Bond, have made the business unviable currently. If would plan to reopen its screen in 2021. 

The Raikes Journal has contacted Mark Cunningham, owner of the Sherborne Cinema, for a comment.