More than 200 independent cinemas across England are set to receive funds totaling £16 million ($21.6 million) to help see them through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, reports Hollywoodreporter.com.
The grant has been ranged from £7,000 ($9,500) to £564,000 ($763,000) and will certainly come as a major relief to the worst-hit exhibition industry especially with most cinemas now closed once again after authorities placed much of England under pandemic restrictions as it grapples with a second spike in infections.
The fund has been allocated by the British Film Institute (BFI) on behalf of the government and It has come from the $2 billion Culture Recovery Fund rescue package for the U.K.’s arts sector, which was announced in July.
“Across the country, local independent cinemas are hubs and lifelines for communities and often the only form of culture and entertainment,” said BFI chief executive Ben Roberts.
“From educational programs and workshops for young people, to screenings for the elderly and audiences with specialized 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,” he further said.
Those who are eligible will be able to apply for safety grants, to help venues meet the immediate costs of implementing COVID-secure measures to protect staff and audiences, and larger business sustainability grants to help stabilize sites financially.
Among the major names to offer their support was Michael Caine, who starred in ‘Tenet’.
The initiative is also being expanded to include cast and crew members over the age of 70.