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Cinemas in Whitstable, Sittingbourne, Folkestone and Broadstairs given £120k share of £400m government recovery fund


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Four Kent cinemas have each received a slice of a multi-million pound government investment.

Theatres in Whitstable, Sittingbourne, Folkestone and Broadstairs were collectively given £121,313 from the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund.

The Kavanagh Cinema. Picture: Chris Davey
The Kavanagh Cinema. Picture: Chris Davey

The Kavanagh Cinema in Whitstable has been given a £35,333 grant while the New Century Cinema in Sittingbourne received £18,162.

Owner of the Kavanagh Cinema, Robert Johnson, says the funding will help the business welcome back patrons once it is safe to do so.

The New Century Cinema announced its plans to reopen on May 17.

Alejandro Whyatt, director of Cinegogh, which manages the cinema in Sittingbourne High Street, said: "We are delighted to have received funding from the Culture Recovery Fund for our cinemas to help with sustaining the business into 2021 and to help with health and safety outgoings.

The New Century cinema in Sittingbourne High Street
The New Century cinema in Sittingbourne High Street

"We are very fortunate as an industry to have received so much support unlike many other businesses in the UK whose struggle is far greater."

Silver Screen Cinema in Guildhall Street, Folkestone, was handed £41,449 and The Palace Cinema in Broadstairs will benefit from a £26,369 payment.

The funding comes after culture secretary Oliver Dowden announced details of over 2,700 organisations nationwide being offered nearly £400m in grants and loans to help the culture and heritage sector reopen and recover.

This brings the government's total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

The Palace Cinema, Harbour Street, Broadstairs. Picture: Barry Goodwin
The Palace Cinema, Harbour Street, Broadstairs. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The funding was reserved in the first round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to allow the Government to respond to the changing public health picture.

With more than 70% of funding going outside of London, it will help organisations across the country as they welcome back visitors and return to normal operating models in the months ahead.

The first round of grants and repayable finance totalling more than £800 million were allocated to ensure the survival of 3,800 cultural organisations and heritage sites across the country.

This second tranche of funding builds on the lifeline grants already awarded to support museums, theatres, performance venues, historic sites and cinemas as they reopen to audiences and visitors throughout the spring and summer.

Folkestone Silver Screen Cinema. Picture: Paul Amos
Folkestone Silver Screen Cinema. Picture: Paul Amos

Oliver Dowden said: "Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

"Now we're staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."

At last month's Budget, the Chancellor announced a £300 million boost for the Culture Recovery Fund, as part of a wider £408 million package for arts and culture taking direct government investment in the sector since the start of the pandemic stands at almost £2 billion.

Further details on the third round of the Culture Recovery Fund will be available in due course.

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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