Universal Hall

North East Community Cinemas Get Set To Roll Into Action

Four community groups across Aberdeenshire and Moray are among the 24 projects from the Orkney Isles to Galashiels, to have received support from The National Lottery through Screen Scotland’s Cinema Equipment Fund towards the purchase of new equipment to host accessible community cinema across Scotland. 

 In line with the Scottish Government’s latest Covid-19 guidance, all 24 projects can now begin plans to get up and running and welcoming audiences, as soon as they’re able, from Wednesday 15 July.  

North East Arts Touring (NEAT) are set to update their mobile cinema equipment, which their network of Volunteer Promoters use to support sustainable community cinema screenings across the North East of Scotland. This funding will help NEAT to significantly increase the number of community cinema groups it supports and will widen access to cinema experiences in rural communities across Aberdeenshire, Moray and Angus.  

Emyr Bell from North East Arts Touring said: "Our cinema scheme was launched in 2012 and was the first of its kind in Scotland. Some of the equipment is now starting to show its age and this funding will allow us to upgrade our equipment. This is such a sustainable model, meaning that a large number of communities can access cinema screenings with a handful of mobile cinema kits. We and our audiences really appreciate Creative Scotland’s ongoing support.” 

NEAT Young Promoters screening Grinch at Insch

The Barn in Banchory will now upgrade to digital film projection and screening equipment to greatly enhance the viewing experience for cinema goers. This upgrade of equipment will also enable the venue to programme additional content for schools and communities including specialist events such as director’s Q&As and collaborations with renowned Film Festivals such as Glasgow Film Festival. 

Aboyne Arts and Theatre Development Group are upgrading their cinema sound system for the Cinema at Aboyne Academy Community Campus, making their screenings more accessible. Cinema at Aboyne provides accessible weekly screenings for the local communnity including new releases, National Theatre Live screenings and arthouse titles, often supporting films made by Scottish talent. 

David Eastwood, Chairman of the Aboyne Arts and Theatre Development Group said: ”We are very grateful to Screen Scotland for this award as it will enable us to start a programme for the replacement of our equipment, some parts of which, such as the sound system, are now more than thirty years old.  When we are allowed to reopen, the award will enable us to continue to provide a high-quality cinema experience for the local community.  Encouraged by this award we are already thinking about our future programme!” 

Universal Hall in Findhorn will purchase new sound and satellite equipment to continue to provide its annual programme of art house, documentary, family-friendly and popular films. The programme also includes Q+As and locally produced shorts. 

Commenting on their funding Universal Hall said: “The new sound equipment to be purchased from a grant from Creative Scotland is a clear step forward for our public cinema screenings. We are making the transition from a facility able to show older movies screened from DVD’s or Blu-Ray discs to a ‘first run’ cinema able to screen recent films via digital download. This new sound equipment will create surround sound in our auditorium - greatly improving the audio when screening modern films.” 

Screen Scotland’s Jennifer Armitage said: “This round of awards concludes the year-long programme of capital investment in cultural and community cinemas in Scotland. When we launched the Cinema Equipment Fund last year, we had no idea what 2020 was going to bring but investing in the resilience of Scotland’s film exhibition sector is more important than ever. When Scotland’s cinemas reopen, they will be able to offer high quality experiences, with varied programmes, and within local communities.” 

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Cinema is a way of bringing people together, sharing our communities’ experience with others and increasing public understanding on a wide range of social issues and historical events. 

“Now more than ever, it is important we support cultural organisations in communities across the country. This round of the Cinema Equipment Fund shows how we support and strengthen cinema throughout Scotland with new high-quality equipment.” 

Contact Information

Eilidh Walker

0131 523 0019

07545 402 064


Notes to editors

  1. Cinema Equipment Fund 

Total amount awarded through this round of the Cinema Equipment Fund is: £491,285 

Funded projects: 



Awarded Amount  

Local Authority  

Aboyne Arts and Theatre Development Group  

Aboyne Cinema Sound  




Aberdeen City  

Atlas Arts  

Plural Futures Film Project  




New Cinema Equipment  


Edinburgh, City of  


Cinemor77 Mobile Cinema Equipment  


Glasgow City  

Colintraive Village Hall  

Kyles Screen, Community Cinema  


Argyll & Bute  

Cousland Village Hall Association  

Replacement in-situ film screen  



Dundee Contemporary Arts Ltd  

Cinema 2 projector replacement  


Dundee City  

East Ayrshire Leisure Trust  

Cumnock Town Hall Community Cinema  


East Ayrshire  

East Dunbartonshire Council  

Spectrum Film Club  


East Dunbartonshire  

Eden Court  

Projection Upgrade 2020  



Forgandenny Village Hall  

Community cinema – audio loop  


Perth & Kinross  

Glasgow Film  

GFT Technical Replacement Project Phase 2  


Glasgow City  

New Picture House (St Andrews) Ltd  

Projection Upgrade  



North East Arts Touring  

Mobile Screening Equipment  



Oban Phoenix Cinema  

Oban Phoenix Theatre (Untitled)  


Argyll & Bute  

Pavilion (Galashiels) Ltd  

Audio Upgrade 2020  


Scottish Borders  

Pix in the Stix Community Cinema  



East Lothian  

Screen Argyll Limited  

Screen Argyll Network Equipment  


Argyll & Bute  

Strathearn Artspace  

Strathearn Arts New Cinema Equipment  


Perth & Kinross  

The Barn  

Upgrading to DCI  



The Iris Arts Ayr CIC  

The Iris Mobile Cinema  


South Ayrshire  

Universal Hall  

Dolby surround sound equipment  



Universal Sounds (Arbroath) Limited  

Equipment Upgrade – DCI Compliant Projector and Associated Sound Equipment  



West Side Cinema  

West Side Cinema Upgrade  


Orkney Islands 

  1. UK Cinema Association Guidance

The UK Cinema Association has published guidance to support cinemas to reopen safely.  This guidance can be found here: https://www.cinemauk.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/guidance-for-cinemas/ 

3. Scottish Government Guidance

According to Scottish Government guidance cinemas in Scotland will be able to reopen from 15th July, however these are indicative dates with confirmation subject to relevant evidence reviews and phase criteria being met. Full details can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-framework-decision-making-scotlands-route-map-through-out-crisis-phase-2-update/

4. Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. Sitting within Creative Scotland, it is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success. With funding from Scottish Government and The National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. For further information please visit: screen.scot, follow @screenscots on twitter and @screenscots on instagram.

5. The National Lottery

The National Lottery has raised more than £41 billion for more than 565,000 good causes across the UK since 1994. Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million has been made available to support people, projects and communities throughout the UK during the Coronavirus crisis. 

Media Contacts: 

Eilidh Walker 

Media Relations and PR Officer- Screen 

M: +447545 402 064