Thank you for contacting me about coronavirus restrictions and support for cinemas.
As the national lockdown has ended, I am glad that cinemas have been able to reopen in Tier 1 and 2 areas across England. While I appreciate that Tier 3 areas will be disappointed that only drive-in cinemas are currently open, decisions on restrictions are not taken lightly and are necessary to reduce the rate of coronavirus transmission.
I know that these are trying times for many businesses both big and small. From the start of the pandemic, a broad range of support has been made available to the hospitality and leisure sectors, including for cinemas. This includes a one-year business rates holiday worth over £10 billion, a temporary reduction to VAT, as well as over £500 million to 2,000 organisations as part of the Culture Recovery Fund. I also warmly welcome the fact that 42 cinemas from across England have received a cash boost worth £650,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund in the first awards made by the British Film Institute (BFI). This is the first tranche of money from the £30 million fund for independent cinemas.
Every business forced to close can receive grants of up to £3,000 a month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant, and the Government is also providing local authorities with a further £1.1 billion to support businesses in their area.
My hope is that the temporary restrictions in place will help reduce the rate of transmission in very high alert level areas to the point where cinemas can reopen more widely once again. I will continue to raise the issue of targeted support for cinemas in order to protect jobs and these important cultural venues both here in Hastings and Rye and across the country.
Thank you for taking the time to contact me.