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Emergency funding to secure the immediate future of Independent Cinemas in Dumfries and Galloway

Annan Lonsdale Cinema, Newton Stewart Cinema and The Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries are among 30 independent cinemas and two touring operators serving communities across Scotland to receive £3.55million from the Scottish Government’s Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund and The National Lottery, through Screen Scotland.

The Fund, which aims to bridge the immediate financial gap faced by independently owned cinemas as a result of COVID-19, will now support these cinemas who can operate in the short-term, within Scottish Government guidelines, and help others towards reopening, when it is safe to do so.

Alan Towers, Annan Lonsdale Cinema said: “I am grateful that Screen Scotland recognise the important work that small family-owned and operated independent cinemas do in bringing the widest possible range of cultural activities to rural areas. With the voluntary support of my family, I have kept the cinema open since July offering the best service we could to a much reduced but extremely appreciative audience. This grant will allow us to bring staff back in to work and secure the cinema’s future into next year when, hopefully, the climate will be much more favourable for cinemas.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture said: “We understand the severe impact this pandemic has had on businesses across Scotland, including our independent cinemas which play such an important role in communities across the country.
“We have had to make some really difficult decisions recently that will impact on cinemas which have worked so hard to re-open safely, but we have to put health considerations above everything else and I hope this funding, along with the business support that will be available, will help independent cinemas cope with all the challenges they face.
“Culture is vitally important to all of our lives, and we are determined to do everything within our powers to see the sector through this crisis. This fund is part of the ongoing financial support the Scottish Government is making available to the sector.”
Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell said: “This funding will keep independent cinema alive in a part of Scotland where it really matters. We are so fortunate to have these smaller venues that are determined to provide audiences with access to films in an area where bigger chains are not present.
“I know all those involved will be so relieved to get this vital help to see them through the difficult winter months.”

Joan McAlpine South Scotland MSP said: “I’m delighted to see so many independent cinemas in South Scotland benefit from Screen Scotland’s Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund. There are fewer cinema chains in rural areas and independent cinemas are a cultural lifeline for many towns and villages. But because they are smaller, and do not have big reserves, they face greater challenges due to the pandemic. For example social distancing when capacity is already limited makes it hard to break even. I raised these issues with ministers on behalf of local cinemas and it’s great to see this response. It also reflects very well on Screen Scotland as a new agency focussed on supporting this important sector of our creative economy during a most difficult time.”
Sambrooke Scott, Head of Audience Development at Screen Scotland said: “Independent cinemas have always played a vital role in communities across Scotland, bringing people together to immerse themselves in great film experiences from filmmakers around the world, and around the corner.
“It’s been the most challenging of times for these hard-working venues but, with the help of this Scottish Government and National Lottery support, they will continue to open and operate safely as local restrictions allow. By putting stringent measures in place to protect staff and audiences alike they will open where able and bring the magic and escapism of cinema back, which is something we need now more than ever.”
Recipients of the Fund are:
Organisation Cinema Name Funding Amount
An Lanntair An Lanntair (Stornoway) £44,200
Caledonian Cinemas Limited Moray Playhouse (Elgin) £149,583
Campbeltown Community Business Campbeltown Picture House (Campbeltown) £65,000
Centre for the Moving Image Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Belmont Filmhouse (Aberdeen) £627,849
D&G Council Robert Burns Centre (Dumfries) £24,896
Dundee Contemporary Arts Dundee Contemporary Arts £143,588
Eden Court Highlands Eden Court (Inverness) £158,814
Falkirk Community Trust Bo’ness Hippodrome (Falkirk) £51,552
G1 Group Perth Playhouse £128,622
Glasgow Film Theatre Glasgow Film Theatre £415,171
Granada Cinemas (Edinburgh) Ltd. Dominion Cinema (Edinburgh) £224,846
INDY Cinema Group Ltd INDY Cinema Group (Various) £216,035
Kino Entertainment Ltd The Kino Leven, The Kino Glenrothes £106,313
Lonsdale Cinema Annan Lonsdale Cinema £43,842
Macrobert Macrobert (Stirling) £111,244
Newton Stewart Cinema Newton Stewart Cinema (Newton Stewart) £32,878
NPH Cinema New Picture House (St Andrews) £87,723
Oban Phoenix Cinema Oban Phoenix Cinema (Oban) £61,818
Pavilion (Galashiels) Ltd Pavilion (Galashiels) £207,362
Premier Leisure Premier Leisure (Saltcoats) £71,259
Regional Screen Scotland Screen Machine (Various) £24,521
Shetland Arts Development Agency Mareel (Lerwick) £40,860
The Birks Cinema Trust Ltd The Birks Cinema (Aberfeldy) £68,500
The Pickaquoy Centre Trust The Phoenix Cinema (Kirkwall) £21,244
The Tower Digital Art Centre The Tower Digital Arts Centre (Helensburgh) £81,328
Universal Sounds (Arbroath) Limited Bathgate Cinema, Alloa Cinema, Arbroath Cinema £96,875
West Coast Cinemas LLP Studio Cinema (Dunoon), Waterfront Cinema (Greenock) £244,441