'We'll be able to keep trading' – East Anglian cinemas receive £1million in grants

Leiston Film Theatre

Leiston Film Theatre received received £57,509 from the grant fund and also received £9,581 in public donations. - Credit: Leiston Film Theatre

Cinemas across East Anglia are set to benefit in just over £1million of government grant funding.

Independent cinemas in Suffolk, Norfolk and north Essex will receive £1,013,258 from the government's Culture Recovery Fund and more grants are expected to be awarded in the new year.

Among the biggest recipients in East Anglia are the Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds which received £314,969. The Majestic Cinema in King's Lynn received £104,826, while the Century Cinema in Clacton-on-Sea received £126,458.

The Regal Cinema in Stowmarket – which is currently undergoing renovations and is showing films in the nearby John Peel Centre – received £82,595.

Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds

Abbeygate Cinema in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Abbeygate Cinema

In addition to this funding, the government is running a £500million Film and TV Restart Scheme to support productions should they incur more losses in the future due to Covid-19.

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Oliver Dowden, culture secretary, said: "The magic of film is such an important part of the festive period and this investment will help protect our independent cinemas so they're around for many Christmases to come.

"Alongside it, the extension of the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme means the UK will be producing even more great content as the cinema industry recovers, keeping us at the forefront of the creative industries.”

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Suffolk's oldest cinema – the Film Theatre, in Leiston – received £57,509 from the grant fund and also received £9,581 in public donations.

Manager of the Leiston Film Theatre, Wayne Burns.

Manager of the Leiston Film Theatre, Wayne Burns. - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Cinema manager Wayne Burns said: "This is a nice comfort blanket for us. It gives us reassurance that we'll be able to keep trading into the new year and will allow us to do what we do best – entertain people.

"Like countless other venues around the UK, 2020 has been a disastrous year in many ways, especially as we'd worked so hard to be where we were in trading terms pre-pandemic.

"We are so very grateful for this award from the BFI and DCMS Cultural Recovery Fund and also to everyone who has supported us. We are determined to return to our former glory in 2021."

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