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Eden Court in Inverness receives emergency funding aimed at securing the future of independent cinema in the Highlands

By Gregor White

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Eden Court Theatre and Cinema has now partially reopened.
Eden Court Theatre and Cinema has now partially reopened.

Eden Court Theatre is among 30 independent cinema operators to receive a share of more than £3 million emergency funding.

The £3.55 million from the Scottish Government independent cinema recovery and resilience fund and the National Lottery is being administered by Screen Scotland.

It aims to bridge the immediate financial gap faced by independently owned cinemas as a result of Covid-19.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet 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 Scott, head 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.”

Eden Court recently announced its partial reopening and has recfeiced £158,814 from the fund.

The theatre's head of fundraising and philanthropy, Alison Logsdail, said: "We are hugely grateful for the lifeline the independent cinema recovery fund has provided to Eden Court.

"As the main independent cinema for the entire north of Scotland our audiences rely on us to be able to enjoy a diverse programme of world cinema, Scottish and British cinema releases.

"This cultural experience has been badly missed through the crisis so we are delighted that, thanks to the fund, we can open our doors again, with all the necessary safety measures in place, to welcome audiences back.

"The funding will also enable us to extend our partnership with the newly established Cromarty Cinema.

"This new independent venue had only just opened when the pandemic struck, forcing closure and losing momentum amongst volunteers and supporters.

"Eden Court will second a member of staff to support the Cromarty Cinema team and help ensure the cinema is prepared to resume operations in this new screening environment. This expanded relationship also helps to avoid redundancy of an Eden Court member of staff."

Related articles: Eden Court set to partially reopen

Inverness Film Festival announces its return with series of 15 movies at Eden Court

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