THE REGENT Centre has become one of the latest recipients of a Cultural Recovery Fund grant, receiving over £200,000 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The funding, administered through the British Film Institute, will ensure that the Christchurch theatre is able to continue operating for at least another 12 months under a reduced budget without the risk of closure due to lack of financial funds.

The Regent Centre joins 200 other major cultural institutions across the UK who have received funding via this grant.

General Manager Matthew Vass-White 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 per cent 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.”

Customers have been returning to the Regent Centre since it reopened on Friday December 4 after an eight month pause in services.

It has a full programme of film and hopes to resume live programming in the spring of 2021.

The grants programme, which sees the Regent Centre collect £238,113, is part of the Government’s £1.57 billion package to protect the UK’s culture and heritage sectors from the economic impacts of Covid-19.

Gary Trinder, the Chairman of the Regent Christchurch said he was "absolutely delighted" with the grant award through the BFI from the DCMS.

He added: “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.

“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.”