CHRISTMAS has come early for Kinokulture, Oswestry's independent cinema, after it received a huge financial boost from the government's Culture Recovery Fund.

The cinema, which is based in Arthur Street, has been awarded more than £25,000 (£25,282) as part of a wider £16 million programme of grants across the country.

The grants – which are being distributed via the British Film Institute (BFI) – are designed to help cinemas and theatres cope with the latest restrictions and to ensure they remain open for audiences post-pandemic.

The BFI has been accepting applications and awarding grants to independent cinemas throughout the autumn.

Eligible cinemas were able to apply for Safety Grants, to help venues meet the immediate costs of implementing Covid-secure measures to protect staff and audiences, and larger Business Sustainability grants to help stabilise sites financially.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the money will play a huge part in keeping the film industry on its feet.

“The magic of film is such an important part of the festive period and this investment will help protect our independent cinemas so they're around for many Christmases to come," he said.

"Alongside it, the extension of the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme means the UK will be producing even more great content as the cinema industry recovers, keeping us at the forefront of the creative industries.”

More than 200 cinemas have received funding so far from a £30 million pot allocated by the BFI, on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, as part of the biggest ever single investment in this country’s cultural sectors. More grant applications from independent cinemas are also currently being assessed.

Cinemas will be able to apply for another £14 million in grants in the new year as part of the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund. The new round of funding is in addition to the £30 million already being allocated by the BFI.