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Eden Court Theatre in Inverness secures another £800,000 in Scottish Government support to help it weather the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and lockdown; the Highland venue has welcomed culture secretary Fiona Hyslop's announcement

By Philip Murray

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James Mackenzie-Blackman outside Eden Court. Picture: Gary Anthony.
James Mackenzie-Blackman outside Eden Court. Picture: Gary Anthony.

EMERGENCY cash support worth £800,000 has been given to Eden Court Theatre after the Scottish Government announced £3 million of new Covid pandemic aid for the arts.

The cash is part of a £185 million package of targeted Covid-19 funding announced by the Scottish Government last month.

The latest support takes the amount secured by Eden Court to help it weather the pandemic to more than £2 million.

Welcoming the latest £800,000 grant, Eden Court’s chief executive, James Mackenzie-Blackman said: “All of us at Eden Court Highlands are immensely grateful to the Scottish Government for this life-line support.

“Together with the communities we serve, and with the artists of the Highlands and Islands, this support will allow us to continue fulfilling our mission to bring the world to the Highlands, and the Highlands to the world.”

The new support will be delivered through Creative Scotland and follows on from the previously announced £12.5 million Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, £15 million for a Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund, and a total of £6.2 million of support for Grassroots Music Venues.

Performing arts venues have also received support from the Third Sector Resilience Fund, Pivotal Enterprises Resilience Fund and the Heritage Emergency Fund.

Scottish Government culture secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said: “This [latest] funding will help to secure the future of three of Scotland’s important independent performing arts charities, protecting jobs and addressing some of the financial pressures they are facing.

“These venues all receive UK and international touring work of major scale, make a significant contribution to the economy and support a network of arts organisations, artists and creatives at the heart of our cities and regions.

“The Scottish Government has allocated more than £120 million of additional funding to support culture and heritage since the start of the pandemic and we will continue to listen to the needs of the sectors.”

The remainder of the £3 million is being used to assist Aberdeen Performing Arts - which runs His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen Music Hall and The Lemon Tree - as well as Capital Theatres in Edinburgh. The latter operates the capital’s Festival Theatre, King’s Theatre and The Studio sites. The two organisations have received £1.4 million and £800,000 respectively.

Related news: Eden Court up for UK award for humanitarian efforts during Covid-19 pandemic

Related news: The value of Inverness theatre highlighted as local teenager urges aid for Eden Court

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