Scottish arts bodies secure share of charity's £30m UK culture recovery package

Six of Scotland's leading arts organisations have secured a share of a £30 million emergency fund created to help the UK's cultural sector recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Eden Court in Inverness is one of Scotland's biggest arts centres.Eden Court in Inverness is one of Scotland's biggest arts centres.
Eden Court in Inverness is one of Scotland's biggest arts centres.

The independent Filmhouse cinemas in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Eden Court in Inverness, Cumbernauld Theatre and the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock will all benefit.

The National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Opera are also being backed from the Weston Culture Fund, which has made more than 100 awards across the UK.

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Some of the funding, worth nearly £1.7m to the Scottish cultural sector, is expected to help pay for live events to return while social distancing still has to be enforced.

More than £128m worth of applications were made to the fund over the last few months after it was created in response to the pandemic by the family who run the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Some of Britain's leading cultural institutions, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Sage Gateshead, the Lowry in Manchester, the Lyric Theatre in Belfast and the theatre company Paines Plough are also being supported.

Eden Court, the biggest arts venue in the Highlands, received the largest award in Scotland, of £500,000.

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The Centre for the Moving Image, which runs the two Filmhouse cinemas, was awarded the biggest grant in Scotland, was backed to the tune of £355,300, while the Beacon Arts Centre secured £170,000. Scottish Opera and NTS were awarded £285,610 and £185,000 respectively. Cumbernauld Theatre has been awarded £186,000.

The Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock opened in 2013.The Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock opened in 2013.
The Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock opened in 2013.

Ken Hay, chief executive of the Centre for the Moving Image, said: “Like all independent cinemas, Filmhouse and Belmont Filmhouse are facing the twin threats of the ongoing impact of Covid 19 and a rapidly changing industry.

“Other support has been about survival. This support from Weston will allow us to address these challenges head on and focus on the long term.

“It will allow us to embed new approaches to programming and through our new Filmhouse at Home streaming service will make our programme accessible for everyone.”

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Jackie Wylie, artistic director of NTS, said: “We’re currently developing a slate of wide-reaching new projects which will create employment opportunities for artists and freelancers, reach communities in a meaningful way and keep audiences entertained whilst theatres are closed.

“This level of support enables our work to achieve a far greater cultural impact, which is all the more necessary, in these challenging times.”

Scottish Opera general director Alex Reedjik said: “This funding allows us to respond to audience engagement now and in the future. In particular, it enables us to make critical investments in our freelance artists, and in our physical and digital infrastructure, helping us further build our audiences and extend our outdoor live performances once restrictions are lifted.

"Together, this will enable us to reach more, and new, audiences across Scotland and beyond while heightened geographic and health barriers continue due to Covid-19, as well as develop our art-form so it, and Scottish Opera, continues to thrive.”

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Pauline Kane, theatre director at the Beacon Arts Centre, said: “We’re extremely grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation for their generous support of our community engagement and artistic plans.

“These funds will enable us to find new ways to connect with and inspire our audiences over the next year.”

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