Independent cinemas across the region to get share of government support fund

Independent cinemas across the south and south east are to receive a share of £650,000 to support their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The cash will come from the first award of the government's Cultural Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas.

Ministers say up to £30 million will be awarded in total, as part of the £1.57 billion announced to support the culture sector.

Cinemas awarded funding:

  • Hailsham Pavilion - Hailsham, East Sussex

  • Kino - Hawkhurst, Kent

  • Kino - Rye, East Sussex

  • Orion Cinema - Burgess Hill, West Sussex

  • The Regent - Christchurch, Dorset

  • Reel Cinema (Market Quay) - Fareham, Hampshire

On a visit to an independent cinema, Culture Minister Caroline Dineage said that the sector is "the beating heart of our communities."

"There's a whole supply chain around [cinemas], people go to a restaurant or go to the shops before heading to the cinema."

Chris Morgan-Giles from Reel Cinema said that the challenges of reopening have been "enormous".

"The cinemas are losing a huge amount of money every week...but we have to try and stay open to get our public used to the idea of going to the cinemas again."

He said that the first cash grant "has been very helpful."

"It's encouraged us that we aren't alone in this, and has gone a long way to financing the essential 'covid-proofing' we had to do."

The awards were made the British Film Institute (BFI) to support independent cinemas as they reopen.

Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive, said that the money is "having a postive impact for venues and local communities" as cinemas reopen with covid secure measures.

"Thanks for the fund we look forward to more cinemas gearing up to reopen in the coming weeks," he added.