Cinema projects land £800,000 boost

Improved access to big screen.


Projects to improve access to cinema across Scotland have been awarded more than £800,000.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop visited one of the 22 schemes to receive funding this year from the £1.6 million Cinema Equipment Fund through Screen Scotland.

The Fife Cultural Trust has received £10,598 to update its equipment at the Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline to provide dementia friendly, autism friendly and baby friendly screenings, as well as films which are captioned, and audio-described. Films are affordable at £3 per ticket.

Ms Hyslop met with Ruth McCabe from Dementia Friendly Fife, and Gerald King, 56, who has younger onset Alzheimer’s, to discuss the importance of dementia friendly screenings. She also spoke to local mum Clare Smart who brings three-year-old daughter Megan to child friendly screenings.

A total of £818,912 has been awarded so far to projects located across the country, from Dumfries to Shetland, and Inverkip to Montrose. And applications for the next round of funding are being invited by 28 January 2020.

Ms Hyslop said:

“This investment improves local community cinema facilities to ensure audiences can enjoy high quality films in venues across the country.

“It’s been a really positive year for the Scottish screen sector, and this investment will allow more people to enjoy the big screen experience in their own communities.

“With half of the Cinema Equipment Fund now benefiting 22 community projects, I look forward to seeing what they achieve, and how the remaining funding will be spent to grow audiences across Scotland.”

Jennifer Armitage from Screen Scotland said:

“The response from community groups creating new pop up cinema experiences to full time big screen venues improving the quality of screening facilities, shows the Cinema Equipment Fund is making a real and positive difference.

“Right across the country, people are now able to access cinema more easily and in more places, with a broader range of films being made available to audiences.”

Heather Stuart, chief executive of Fife Cultural Trust (ONFife) said:

"Watching a film as part of an audience can be an entertaining and enriching experience and this award is a welcome boost to what we can offer at Carnegie Hall.

"It makes our screenings much more accessible to more groups of people who might otherwise miss out on the whole cinema experience because of their circumstances - whether that's parents with young babies or someone living with dementia."

The Cinema Equipment Fund was launched by Screen Scotland on 6 March this year to improve access to community cinema across Scotland.

The fund is open to cinemas and community venues to install or upgrade digital equipment including projectors, speaker systems, screens, satellite or broadband connection, and access equipment such as hearing induction loops or audio description equipment.

Twelve projects were awarded funding which totalled £500,854 in the first round, announced in August. A further 10 successful projects were announced earlier this month, sharing £318,058.

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. With funding from Scottish Government and the National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success.

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