The Light cinema in Bradford receives £300,000 Government funds

BOSSES at a Bradford cinema say they are delighted it has received an almost £300,000 funds boost from the Government.

The Light, at The Broadway, has been handed £292,836 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) final awards from the first round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to support cultural and heritage organisations in England.

This takes the total amount the fund The Light, Bradford, has received to £300,000.

The cinema has been closed for the majority of the pandemic but did reopen briefly last August.

Julie Monks, deputy business manager at The Light, Bradford, welcomed the cash injection and hopes when the site can reopen will become clearer when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces his roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions next Monday.

She said: “This is brilliant news. It will help us at this time.

“We see ourselves as a cinema for the community. When we do go back, it will be baby steps.

“We’re still waiting for everything to open up again. We will be back to business when we can. We’re waiting to welcome people back.”

The Fund is open to independent cinemas in England whose businesses have been unavoidably interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and will continue to support them as they transition back to operating in the months ahead.

The other three Yorkshire and the Humber cinemas are The Light, Sheffield – £292,836 (total funding to date – £300,000); Reel Cinema, Kingston upon Hull – £115,385 (total funding to date – £125,381).

Reel Cinema, Wakefield, has been awarded £115,385 (total funding to date – £125,381).

The latest grants, awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute on behalf of the DCMS build on more than £1 billion awarded to a huge range of cultural and heritage organisations last year.

In addition, the BFI has awarded £5 million in grants to 33 cinemas, including two major independent companies operating cinemas across England, including four cinemas in Yorkshire and the Humber. These grants to cinemas mean that 207 independent cinemas have been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund, 83 per cent of which are outside London.

Light Cinemas will benefit from a grant of £2,928,364 to support 10 cinema sites across the North, Midlands, and South East, ensuring their broad film programming and important community engagement can restart when cinemas can safely reopen.

Keith Pullinger, deputy chairman and founder, The Light Cinemas, said: “We want to thank everyone at the BFI and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for supporting us through the process to receive a grant from the Culture Recovery Fund.

“Covid-19 has devastated our finances and this grant is essential to protect our future and ensure our survival.

“There is still a lot of work to do, but we now have a platform to start rebuilding our business from.

“Our landlords and suppliers will need to play their part but this will help protect the jobs of the 220 people who are employed at our cinemas.

“We look forward to delighting our guests once more when we reopen all our sites later this year.”

More than 90 per cent of the grants allocated by the National Lottery Heritage Fund have been awarded to heritage projects outside of London, ensuring that the future of important projects at historic places are protected in all corners of England.