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Cinemas: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 134616, tabled on 8 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 14th December 2020 to Question 127515, what additional funding allocations he plans to make available for cinemas seeking financial relief as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

13 January 2021

The government recognises the significant cultural and economic value of cinemas, and has supported them through both sector-specific and economy-wide measures. In the first round of the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, more than 200 independent cinemas have so far received funding from a £30m pot. This funding was administered by the BFI on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, as part of the biggest ever single investment in this country’s cultural sectors.

Grants have been awarded to cinema sites in every corner of the country, with cinemas outside London benefitting from 78% of funding to date. Further to this, we announced in December that cinemas will be able to apply for another £14 million in grants as part of the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund in 2021. This will support cinemas as they transition back to a viable and sustainable way of operating in the months ahead. Cinemas have also been eligible to apply to the second round of Arts Council England’s Repayable Finance scheme, with a total of £100m available.

Cinemas have been able to benefit from the further extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until 30 April 2021, which sees employees receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. In addition, the government has supported cinemas through the VAT cut on tickets and concessions and a business rates holiday. In light of recent tightening in restrictions, businesses in England that are forced to close will receive up to £3,000 for each 28 day period affected. We have also recently announced that businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors can apply for a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 per property.

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