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Institutions / Legislation - UK

Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming

The final round of the UK’s Culture Recovery Fund set to rescue independent cinemas

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The emergency funding, consisting of over £500,000 as part of a wider £35 million aid package, is vital to survive the crisis and bring back audiences to theatres

The final round of the UK’s Culture Recovery Fund set to rescue independent cinemas
The Plymouth Arts Cinema, one of the beneficiaries of the Culture Recovery Fund

Yesterday, the British government announced the allocation of the third and final round of the Culture Recovery Fund, accounting for £35 million (ca. €41.5 million) and set to back 340 cultural organisations across England. The aid package will be essential to help these bodies to survive beyond the pandemic and protect jobs.

According to the official press release published by the British government, since August 2020 the Culture Recovery Fund has distributed £1.57 billion (ca. €1.86 billion) to around 5,000 bodies and sites across the country, “giving a lifeline to theatres, museums, independent cinemas and many more cherished organisations around the country through the pandemic.” The final round of funding has rescued “organisations through the latest challenges, in particular those affected by the Omicron variant this winter.”

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In detail, the generous emergency funding has helped independent cinemas to survive the crisis. Among the beneficiaries of the latest round of support to independent cinemas (totalling over £500,000/ca. €593,000) is Plymouth Arts Cinema, the town’s only independent cinema (£45,000, ca. €53,500), which “has been able to continue its rich programme of international and UK independent films and offer cheaper tickets to those out of employment, students, those attending Relaxed screenings, and asylum seekers and refugees.” Meanwhile, £130,000 (ca. €154,000) went to The Regal at Stowmarket “to complete its long-planned refurbishment and offer an expanded programme to local communities, including ‘pocket-money screenings’ with £3 [ca. €3,50] tickets for children and work with local disability groups.”

Commenting on the latest measures, the BFI’s Chief Executive Ben Roberts, said: “Every penny of the Culture Recovery Fund including over £500k in this final round of funding to independent cinemas across the country has been vital to their survival, enabling them to recover and welcome back their audiences. As well as bringing people together to experience the magic of experiencing film on the big screen, local cinemas are hubs for educational and film activities and provide thousands of jobs contributing to regeneration and local economies.”

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