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Emergency funding to secure the immediate future of Independent Cinema in Ayrshire

Premier Leisure Cinema in Saltcoats is 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. 

Martin Scott of Premier Leisure Cinema said:

"Receiving this funding is nothing short of a lifeline for Premier Leisure Cinema. With movies being delayed until next year and less and less reasons to visit the cinema we were being forced to make some really tough decisions. This funding has not only protected jobs, but allowed us to look into 2021 with some optimism. All our cinema and kiosk staff will now be protected and we can continue to run our local, community cinema which is a the only one in the wider area and a community hub for the locals."

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.”

Fiona HyslopCabinet 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.” 

Sambrooke ScottHead 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.” 


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