EVESHAM’S independent cinema has received a huge cash boost which the owners say will help ‘secure the venue’s future’ following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Regal Cinema on Port Street has been allocated £197, 917 which has been administered by the British Film Institute (BFI) from the second round of funding provided by the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The cinema was previously awarded £142,225 from the first round of government funding earlier this year.

In a joint statement, family owners Ian, Sue and Laurence Wiper, who bought and restored the Regal after a campaign from Evesham residents in 2008, said: “We are delighted with our grant award from the BFI.

“This will once again help us to secure the future of the Regal and enable us to reopen with renewed confidence on May 17, 2021.

“Since we acquired the Regal in 2008 and completed a full restoration of this much-loved Evesham landmark, we have been overwhelmed by the support from an army of volunteers during restoration.

“We have received hundreds of emails and letters of support throughout the pandemic and are deeply grateful to everyone.

“Wychavon and our MP Nigel Huddleston and their teams continue to offer huge support as does our former MP and his wife, Sir Peter and Julia Luff, and of course our patron, Alistair McGowan. Our whole team has been amazing during this difficult year of closures and uncertainty.”

The cinema will reopen on May 17 with a full schedule of new films and live events.

“We can’t wait to get going again and welcome everyone back to this beautiful place,” said the owners.

Mid Worcestershire MP, Nigel Huddleston, said: “I’m delighted that the Regal Cinema will be amongst 206 other cinemas in the UK to receive an additional grant of £197,917 in the second round of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

“I know that the Regal is a treasured local culture spot and many of us can’t wait to be able to be back through those doors when they are able to open again in May. This funding will go towards getting the cinema ready and ensuring it will remain a constant in our local communities and be able to keep providing us great entertainment.”

Overall, £2,858,939 from the government’s fund has been given out to 29 organisations in Worcestershire - in a bid to help theatres, galleries, museums, performance groups, arts organisations and local venues face challenges of enforced closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Peter Knott, area director of Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted the Culture Recovery Fund has been able to offer support to a wide range of arts and cultural sector organisations across Worcestershire.”

Tickets for viewings at the cinema will be on sale soon at: theregal.ac/web