Over £2m Invested in Independent Cinemas in the South West

As part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, £16m has been distributed across 200 independent cinemas in England – of which £2.3m has been shared across South West venues.  

Overseen by the BFI and the Department for Media, Culture and Sport (DMCS) the money awarded as part of the Culture Recovery Fund is a much needed boost for the sector at this challenging time.  


Credit: The Regent Cinema, Christchurch

13 Film Hub South West members have been supported by the BFI Cultural Recovery Fund receiving a share of £2.3 Million. To date, £16m has been awarded, with a further £14m of grants to be given in the new year. Announcement of this will come early in January 2021.

We are delighted that 13 Film Hub South West members have been supported in this first round. No doubt, in the trusty hands of those selected (and those to be selected still), cultural and community led cinema can continue to thrive in the region.  

South West recipients include the Wells Film Centre, a family run cinema in Somerset, which will benefit from £78,980. This will maintain the centre’s film offerings 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:  

“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.” 

In the face of the uncertainty that has defined much of this year, this is a much needed investment that lays the foundations for cinemas to continue to be there for their communities

Of the Culture Recovery Fund, BFI Chief Executive Ben Roberts has 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.”

Overall, the Culture Recovery Fund has allocated £1.57bn to support culture in all four nations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been shared across other arts and multi-disciplinary venues and festivals that incorporate music, dance, literature, theatre, heritage, languages, and arts too. Cinemas in multipurpose arts venues such as Home in Manchester and Watershed in Bristol were allocated grants by Arts Council England, ensuring that some of our best-known screens have been supported during this crisis. 

Recognising that cinemas do need films to screen in order to function, the government’s Film and TV Production Restart Scheme has also helped keep the cameras rolling at the other end of the screen supply chain.  So far, £500m has been awarded to support Film and TV productions in the UK. Since opening in October, 100 productions have been future proofed for further losses due to COVID-19. This is a much needed boost for the year ahead, which will hopefully result in plenty of new British films to satisfy our screens! 

Remember to look out for the second round of funding in the new year, when the next funding round (for activity between April and July 2021) will be announced. As always, do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions or support from us at Film Hub South West. 


Source: BFI

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