A CHRISTCHURCH theatre boss said he was “over the moon” after its survival was secured for at least the next 12 months thanks to a nearly £240,000 government grant.
Regent Centre general manager Matthew Vass-White said the funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will allow it to keep going, although on a “reduced budget”.
He said: “We are over the moon to finally have 12 months of room to help our charity try and recover from the effects of a 95% drop in income following the effects that Covid-19 has had on our industry.
“We will need to continue to take different approaches to the way that we plan and budget for some time to come but we’re feeling really hopeful about the next 12 months.
“I want to thank my team and board of directors for all their help in putting the CRF grant application together, which was a mammoth task in itself.”
The money will be administered through the British Film Institute as part of a £1.57bn cultural recovery fund package. It has been divided between 200 major cultural institutions across the UK affected by the Covid-19 crisis to enable them to stay afloat.
Gary Trinder, chair of the Regent, was absolutely delighted, saying: “The Regent Centre like other arts venues across the UK has been unable to generate any profit since lockdown in March, with many fixed costs and a proportion of salaries still being paid, putting the charity into a severely loss-making situation.
“The uncertainty with the 2021 outlook and the slow release of new films compounded the situation and we’ve been able to forecast precisely when our reserves would run out.”
He added: “The Regent is incredibly important to Christchurch, and indeed the whole of the BCP and wider environs.
“In normal times, we are very well supported, and the much-needed grant will provide stability for the charity for the next 12 months.”