New £2.5million fund to support recovery of Scotland’s independent cinemas

Recover Fund for Independent Cinemas

The Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas which opens for applications today, Wednesday 9 February, will help Scotland’s independent cinemas to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Backed by the Scottish Government as part of a £31.5million package of support* for the cultural sector, Screen Scotland has launched this £2.5million fund to support cinemas to develop activity that addresses changes in the marketplace and changes within their audience, with a focus on growth and development. Funding may cover a range of areas including audience development, programming, marketing and outreach, education, innovation, intelligence gathering and research and development.  

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said: “Independent cinemas have an important role to play in our communities and Screen Scotland’s recovery fund will help to support cinema operators to re-engage with their audiences during our post-pandemic recovery. 

“Cinemas are also part of our wider screen industry ecosystem. With high production levels in Scotland, it’s vital that we maintain a vibrant cinema network to show and promote these films and encourage new generations to consider screen as a career.” 

Sambrooke Scott, Head of Audience Development at Screen Scotland said: “Cinemas provide a unique place for people to come together and immerse themselves in films and stories from Scotland and around the world. Independent cinemas are a vital part of the cultural, economic and social life of many communities across Scotland however the sector continues to face significant challenges due to COVID and from the resulting changes to the film exhibition business model. 

“This fund will support venues to meet those challenges, adapt to the changes and explore new opportunities and ideas, helping to ensure the long-term health and impact of these local assets. We want cinemas to continue to grow, adapt and thrive in their communities now and into the future.” 

Phil Clapp, Chief Executive, UK Cinema Association said: “We very much welcome this latest funding support from the Scottish Government for many of our members in Scotland.

“There is no doubt that, without this funding, many smaller cinemas would have struggled to survive the impacts of the pandemic. This latest support will now allow those same venues to look forward to the future with renewed confidence."

This new funding support follows Screen Scotland’s £5.53million Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund launched in September 2020 to bridge the immediate financial gap faced by independently owned cinemas as a result of COVID-19. Across two rounds, the fund supported 30 independent cinemas across Scotland and two touring cinema operators. 


  1. Open for applications from today Wednesday 9 February, the closing date for applications is noon on Friday 4 March 2022. Fund guidance and application forms can be found here: Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas 

  2. *£31.5m has been made available by the Scottish Government. £25m has been allocated to Creative Scotland’s Cancellation Fund for Cultural Organisations, with the remaining £6.5m being held in reserve for further sector recovery, including the Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas. This follows on from the £10m Cancellation Fund for Individuals, which opened for applications on 06 January and closed on 23 January. 

  3. Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of Scotland’s film and tv industry through enhanced funding, services and support with backing from Scottish Government and The National Lottery.  Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and works in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council to ensure the sector’s continued growth.  / Twitter / Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland at 

Media contact

Eilidh Walker 
Media Relations and PR Officer- Screen
T: 0131 523 0019 
M: 07545 402 064 
[email protected]