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Independent UK cinemas to receive £16million in government funding


A total amount of £16million is to be awarded in funding to over 200 independent cinemas across the UK in a bid to help them survive through the coronavirus crisis.

The British Film Institute (BFI) will be awarding the funds to the cinemas, and they have siphoned the funds from the government’s £1.57billion Cultural Recovery Fund. The fund was initially announced back in July and has helped keep thousands of entertainment venues alive throughout this devastating year. Music venues such as Liverpool’s famous Cavern and Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club were among the grassroots venues who earlier received funding to keep them alive.

Cinemas will be in line to receive from £7,000 to £564,000 in funding depending on the venue, and a further £14million in grants will be available in the new year from the British Film Institute (BFI).

“Across the country, local independent cinemas are hubs and lifelines for communities and often the only form of culture and entertainment,” BFI chief executive Ben Roberts said of the funding in a statement.

From educational programs 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.”

Michael Caine ardently supported the fund and is lated with the move, noting: “The moving image has the power to change the way we think. The power to inspire; to delight; and to move. It happens to me all the time.

“Film is one of the most powerful and accessible art forms on earth — and for so many a local cinema is a place we know, love and have grown up with. A cinema is very often a vital part of any community and we need to support them in order to keep the art of film and the sense of community alive. Let’s go to the pictures!”