I recognise the immense value that cinemas bring to local communities. They provide much needed social interaction for people across all ages, so it is regrettable that the current restrictions prohibit them from opening. I do, however, warmly welcome the Prime Minister's recent announcement which laid out the road map for the reopening of society, including the return of cinema.
Step 2 of the plan, which will take place no earlier than 12 April, will see the reopening of outdoor attractions such as drive in cinemas. In addition, Step 3, which will take place no earlier than 17 May, will see the return of indoor cinemas as well as remaining outdoor entertainment (including outdoor cinemas). For further information on the Covid-19 Road Map, please search: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021
Since 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 both business rates relief worth over £10 billion as well as a temporary reduction to VAT, which have both been extended for a further year. More 200 independent cinemas across England are being supported with £16million in grants from the Government's Culture Recovery Fund.
Culture Recovery Fund Access (Mainstream Cinemas)
Full eligibility criteria for the Fund can be found on the website of the relevant delivery body, in this instance the British Film Institute (https://www.bfi.org.uk). I understand that the Government has targeted independent cinemas with this specific funding because they are the most financially vulnerable and play a unique role in the film sector, as well as the towns and cities they are found in.