Cinema Incentive Scheme

The Cinema Incentive Scheme aims to sustain and grow the UK market for British independent and specialised films by incentivising participating venues to increase the number of British independent and specialised films screened as part of their core annual programme.

The scheme encourages member venues to take more risks within their annual programme, to diversify their film offer and increase opportunities for audiences to experience a broader range of cinema.

92% of the venues who participated in the Cinema Incentive Scheme said it enables them to take more risks in their programming.  

“We want to provide a varied programme, including non-mainstream films, but have to pick titles with our income in mind; it's important to know we have support for taking some risk.Electric Picture House, Wotton-Under-Edge

 “Absolutely fantastic. Just what cinema in general needs. Without cinemas being financially freer to show a more diverse variety of film there is less opportunity to encourage cinema audiences in general to broaden their viewing.”  Gloucester Guildhall

“It supports and encourages more risk taking in programming, particularly for smaller venues who are under enormous pressure to cut back on riskier titles to make way for more 'popular' films. It could really change the landscape of programming because of this.”  Plymouth Arts Centre

Who is it for?

All venues within the Film Hub SWWM membership that meet the eligibility criteria (below) are invited to apply for the Cinema Incentive Scheme. (NB. Film Hub Lead organisation Watershed is excluded from this scheme).

The total investment in the Cinema Incentive Scheme in 2017 is £45,000, divided into two tiers:


Is aimed at full-time cinema venues presenting a minimum of 300 screenings per year to increase the percentage of specialised and British independent films screened as part of their annual programme. 


  • Minimum 300 screenings per year
  • 50%+ British independent or specialised cinema.

Total Pot: £40,000


Aims to incentivise part-time cinema venues, many of which are offering a high percentage of specialised and British independent cinema, to increase their number of annual screenings.


  • Minimum 130 screenings per year
  • 60%+ British independent or specialised cinema.

Total Pot: £5,000

Eligibility for this scheme is assessed based on the venue’s previous year’s annual screening figures and the percentage of specialised and British independent screenings. At the point of initial assessment the number of screenings of specialised and British independent cinema above the eligibility threshold for each applying venue will form that venue’s baseline for growth.

Points will be awarded to each venue for all screenings of British independent & specialised films above the eligibility threshold. Double points will be awarded for each screening above the venue’s baseline from the previous year to incentivize growth. The more you do the more you get.

To Apply for this Scheme

Please read the Cinema Incentive Scheme Guidelines for more information about the scheme.

Download and complete the following forms:

1. pilot_cinema_incentive_scheme_expression_of_interest_form.docx 

2. baseline_activity_template.xls

Please email the completed form to by the 1st July 2017.

All participating venues will be asked to sign an agreement to submit 2016 figures by the 4th January 2018. 

The final award for each venue will be determined following the submission of all 2017 screening data and will be granted by mid-February 2018.

Evaluation of Pilot Cinema Incentive Scheme.