BARRY’s Memo Arts Centre has been given £4,200 from Film Hub Wales to help with the re-opening of the venue and to adapt to the coronavirus regulations.

The centre will use the funds to create affordable ‘big screen Bub-L’ activities which are designed to welcome both new and existing audiences. There will be showings on the big screen that are available in socially distanced bubbles, created with accessibility and creative wellbeing in mind.

There will be online and take-away digital and craft activities and grown-up or family focused treat bags served to cabaret style tabled seats. They will also listen to and incorporate feedback from their audience to shape new and diverse programmed strategies for post coronavirus.

The fund is part of £52,000 worth of National Lottery funding that has been distributed among 15 Welsh independent cinemas and film festivals to aid with the reopening.


On re-opening, the venues will host socially-distanced film activities as they look to rebuild. Many of the sites have been unable to open to the public since the pandemic began back in March but they have been working to diversify their business models and develop robust health and safety procedures as well as securing critical alternative sources of income.

Film Hub Wales’ strategic manager, Hana Lewis, said: “We need to recognise the impact of cinemas in our communities and the potential loss we will all face if they close as a result of the pandemic.

“From Neuadd Ogwen, which provided food to 600 people via its foodbank, to the Magic Lantern and Theatr Gwaun, which both delivered medical supplies and mental health support to vulnerable patrons, independent venues have gone above and beyond to help those in most need. They have done this whilst also planning for their own uncertain futures, interrogating their business plans, reviewing their approaches to access and equality and exploring environmental sustainability.

“These funds will help them to restart crucial social, economic and cultural provision through on-screen activity.”

Ben Luxford, head of UK audiences at the British Film Institute who made the fund possible, said: “This year has shown the absolute importance and need of programming beyond the mainstream, and we’re pleased to be able to support exhibitors in Wales continue to do that.”