Edinburgh's Filmhouse cinema receives funding to reopen in 2024

Edinburgh’s Filmhouse cinema has been awarded £1.5 million by the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund investment. This means that the much-loved home of cinema in Edinburgh, celebrating film in all its forms, will be able to reopen.

Funding and strategic support from Screen Scotland enabled the incredibly dedicated team led by Ginnie Atkinson, Rod White, David Boyd and James Rice, to launch a crowdfunding appeal (to which hundreds of passionate supporters contributed), draw up plans for the renovation, and invest the time necessary to make their successful application for UK Government support that will see the Filmhouse reopen later this year. 

David Smith, Director of Screen Scotland said: “That we will have Filmhouse back, and better than ever is a tremendous outcome and all credit goes to the hardworking team that held on to that possibility and made it a reality across the last 18 months. Screen Scotland welcomes this essential funding from the UK Government for the redevelopment and reopening of the Filmhouse.

“With the Scottish Government’s support Screen Scotland has worked alongside the Filmhouse team and our colleagues in City of Edinburgh Council since Caledonian Heritable accepted the proposal to reopen the Filmhouse as a cinema that celebrates film in all its forms. Our support enabled the Filmhouse team to dedicate themselves to its reopening, to launch the very successful crowdfunding campaign, and to draw up both their ambitious plans and the applications that ultimately led to the UK Government’s very welcome award.”

Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Ltd said: “We are hugely grateful to Screen Scotland for their support on the journey of getting the doors of Filmhouse open again.

Cultural Cinema in Edinburgh, with its rich history, was put in jeopardy the day the CMI went into administration and our efforts to restore it would not have progressed as positively without significant, early, and consistent support from Screen Scotland. 

“Firstly, Screen Scotland endorsed and supported our discussions with the new owners of the building, Caledonian Heritable. Screen Scotland sat alongside us as we talked to Caledonian Heritable about why a cinema like Filmhouse is special, the role the building has long played in Scotland and Edinburgh’s film culture, and why it was irreplaceable.  That demonstrated to Caledonian Heritable that we had the backing of Filmhouse’s long-term funder from the outset, that we were a credible operator of the cinema, and that the cinema within Filmhouse was viable. That led directly to the long-term lease we are about to enter being possible. 

“Screen Scotland have also provided essential development funding to enable us to progress our plans, to consolidate Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Ltd. as an organisation, to draw up plans for the renovation, launch the Crowdfunder, and invest the time necessary to make our successful application for UK Government Community Ownership Fund investment.

“Screen Scotland’s ongoing funding, advocacy and advice – from David Smith, Isabel Davis and Sambrooke Scott in particular – represents crucial partnership support to FEL as we progress through all the stages towards re-opening; and it means that all sums raised through the Crowdfunder can go straight into the pot for the match funding required for the Levelling Up (COF) grant. 

“It’s been clear to us from the start of this journey that Screen Scotland are focused on ensuring that cultural cinema is available to everyone in Edinburgh and the City region and recognise the importance of exhibition as part of the screen sector jigsaw.  MON THE HOOSE!”

Fundraising contributions can be made via the Filmhouse campaign crowdfunder.


More information

Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Limited was formed in late December 2022 by four former Filmhouse colleagues: James Rice, former programme manager and now a cinema strategist at specialist consultancy Mustard Studio; Rod White, former Head of Programming; David Boyd, former Head of Technical; and Ginnie Atkinson, former CEO of Filmhouse and Edinburgh International Film Festival until 2010. 

Filmhouse (Edinburgh) Ltd. is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland SC753872; and a registered charity in Scotland, SC052643, regulated by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)