The Event Cinema Association (ECA) has today confirmed that it is to be a beneficiary of the second round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The ECA is amongst more than 2,700 organisations and venues to benefit collectively from more than £300 million, part of the latest round of awards announced by the Culture Secretary today.

The Fund provides grants to support cultural organisations as they transition back to a viable and sustainable operating model. This funding will enable the ECA to return to full operations over the coming months, offering reduced membership fees whilst the sector moves along the road to recovery.  

In seeking this award, the ECA presented a clear delivery plan to support the wider cultural sector, including partners in cinema exhibition. 

As a consequence, the ECA Conference and Slate Day will return in late May and will be free to all to attend. With a bumper day of slate presentations showcasing new event cinema content plus a series of topical panel discussions and data insights, the event will look at global box office performance of event cinema and demonstrate its potential impact post- pandemic. Panel discussions will delve into the evolution of streaming for event cinema content, the opportunities for live music in cinemas and how cinemas can improve cinema presentation of both live and recorded events. 

Over the coming weeks and months, led by Managing Director Grainne Peat, the ECA will work to create a new suite of marketing assets to promote event cinema content – again free to all to access – in addition to launching a new series of event cinema podcasts and sharing a host of new global data and insights. 

In making today’s announcement, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already 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 thebetter times ahead.

Welcoming this new funding for the ECA, Grainne Peat said: 

“We are beyond thrilled and grateful to be a fortunate beneficiary of the Culture Recovery Fund, for the ECA it really is a lifeline. We are now able to start fully supporting the industry at this vital time as we begin, once again, to look forward to reopening our beloved cinemas to bring back some much-needed big screen cultural entertainment to the public. 

For what has been a truly unprecedented and challenging year for the cultural sector, the road to recovery and financial stability is not entirely straightforward but there is certainly growing optimism. For the immediate short-term we are not reliant on membership fees to operate and can resume usual business and support all our partners from cultural venues, content providers and cinemas. We certainly have a lot planned.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:

“Investing in a thriving cultural sector at the heart of communities is a vital part of helping the whole country to recover from the pandemic. These grants will help to re-open theatres, concert halls, and museums and will give artists and companies the opportunity to begin making new work. 

We are grateful to the Government for this support and for recognising the paramount importance of culture to our sense of belonging and identity as individuals and as a society.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by Arts Council England, as well as Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.

Download full press release below.