Major funding boost for independent cinemas in Norfolk and Waveney

East Coast Cinema

East Coast Cinema has been awarded £89,373 through the Culture Recovery Fund. The cinema had reopened following the first lockdown, but were forced to close again from Boxing Day. - Credit: Reece Hanson

More than £2.8 million has been awarded to 24 cinemas in the east of England as part of a major funding boost.

Lowestoft's East Coast Cinema was one of those to be awarded the final grants from the first round of the government's Culture Recovery Fund, receiving a boost of £89,373.

The cinema, on London Road South, had previously been awarded £2,838 from the fund.

The Majestic Cinema, in King's Lynn.

The Majestic Cinema, in King's Lynn. - Credit: Chris Bishop

Other recipients included the Majestic Cinema, in King's Lynn, which received £104,826 and the Regal Movieplex, in Cromer, which was awarded £69,200.

Central Cinema, in Fakenham, were also awarded £56,973, while Orion Cinema, in Dereham, received £25,260.

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The latest grants were awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute (BFI) on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with the Culture Recovery Fund handing out £1.57 billion across the country.

Movieplex cinema in Cromer.

Movieplex cinema in Cromer. - Credit: ANTONY KELLY

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: "From restoring Georgian lidos and Roman baths to saving local screens and synagogues, our Culture Recovery Fund is helping to save the places people can't wait to get back to, when it is safe to do so. 

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"All over the country, this funding is protecting the venues that have shaped our history and make us proud of our communities, while safeguarding the livelihoods of the people that work in them."

Light Cinemas were awarded more than £2.9 million in the latest round, with grants of £292,836 each to sites in Thetford, Wisbech and Cambridge. 

The Light Cinema in Thetford.

The Light Cinema in Thetford. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Ben Roberts, chief executive of the BFI, said: "Across the country, local independent cinemas are lifelines for communities and often the only form of culture and entertainment.

"As well as bringing people together to enjoy the magic of the big screen, local cinemas are hubs for educational and film activities and provide thousands of jobs.

"The pandemic has made clear just how important local communities are and the support of the Culture Recovery Fund means many cinemas will be able to reopen and play a vital role in local economies and regeneration."

Central Cinema, Fakenham

Central Cinema, Fakenham - Credit: IAN BURT

Further applications are currently being considered for the Culture Recovery Fund's remaining £400 million, which was held back to support organisations through the spring and summer.

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