Media release: New fund to help communities across Scotland set up their own cinemas


A CINEMA Near You, a new two-year development project to support new local cinema initiatives in areas of low or no provision, was launched today by Regional Screen Scotland, Screen Scotland and Film Hub Scotland.

The programme will offer support and funding to groups with an ambition to set up new screening facilities, from community DVD screenings, to a full-time cinema with multiple screens.

With a budget of £500,000 over two years, Regional Screen Scotland, who will manage the programme, will provide; development advice and support, research, and funding for pilot activity.

Working with Film Hub Scotland, they will also provide staff from participating organisations with professional development opportunities, networking, marketing support, support for building and expanding audiences and more diverse film programming.

Applicants, who can be from groups at any stage in developing their local cinema plans, will be invited to submit details about their organisation, activity and ambitions, and will work with Regional Screen Scotland, to devise a bespoke programme of activities and developments.

Full details are available online at:

A Cinema Near You has been developed in association with a wide range of agencies which have a remit for supporting community development and wellbeing across Scotland, including SURF, Senscot, Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Voluntary Health Scotland.

This project compliments other recently announced audience-focused funding programmes from Screen Scotland namely, the Cinema Equipment Fund and the Film Festivals Fund, designed to extend and strengthen the infrastructure for film exhibition in Scotland.

Isabel Davis, executive director at Screen Scotland, said: “We want everyone in Scotland to be able to see a wide range of films – and to be able to enjoy the collective experience of seeing film in cinemas. A Cinema Near You will work with communities who have limited access to cinema to provide greater access in a way that works for them.”

Robert Livingston, director of Regional Screen Scotland, said: “As operators of the highly successful Screen Machine mobile cinema service, we know what it means to bring the big screen experience to even the smallest communities.

“Now we have the means to help some of Scotland’s larger communities to share those experiences, and to develop the right kind of cinema provision to meet their needs. And we’re delighted to be working with an extensive network of partners to help them to meet their own aims in the areas of town centre regeneration, community development, and health and wellbeing promotion.”

Sambrooke Scott, Film Hub Scotland manager, said: “A Cinema Near You will help cinema to thrive in areas across Scotland that currently are without screening facilities.

“We’re looking forward to working with Regional Screen Scotland to provide professional development and training for the Cinema Near You cohort, drawing on our experience of providing member support and development opportunities for film exhibitors across the UK.’

Notes for editors:

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.  @screenscots

About Regional Screen Scotland

Regional Screen Scotland (RSS) is a charity registered with OSCR which aims to help local communities to enjoy high quality screen experiences. It is a Regular Funded client of Creative Scotland, and receives funding and support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It owns and operates the Screen Machine mobile cinema which has been touring the Highlands and Islands since 1998, and it has bases in Edinburgh and outside Inverness.  @regional_screen_scotland

About Film Hub Scotland

Film Hub Scotland (FHS) is part of the BFI Film Audience Network and one of eight hubs across the UK. It is a membership organisation offering training, funding, development and networking opportunities. It exists for the primary aim of enabling members to extend film choice, increase and broaden film audiences, and enhance opportunities for audiences to engage with and learn about film. Members include but are not limited to: full and part-time cinemas, multi-arts venues, community cinemas, film societies, film festivals and pop-up initiatives.

Film Hub Scotland is led by Glasgow film and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI.  @filmhubscotland

Media contact:

Harriet Warman

Partnerships co-ordinator

Regional Screen Scotland

D: +44 (0)131 550 3734

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