Clevedon's Curzon Cinema has been granted £83,342 from the British Film Institute's (BFI) culture recovery fund and an extra £9,847 from the BFI safety grant.

With the Curzon's capacity reduced by two-thirds, its loss of income has been drastic and without grants such as these, it is possible the 108-year-old business would have had to permanently close.

The cinema's chief executive, Susannah Shaw, said: "It has been deeply reassuring to know that our costs to welcome back audiences to a safe and well-planned experience at the Curzon have been met by the BFI.

"Our cinema is a vital hub of culture for our region, and we were able to to enjoy the sight of greater numbers than we'd hoped for, come through our doors for the brief period we were open, between October 16 and November 3, showing audience confidence that coming back to the cinema would be a safe experience.

"Despite current pandemic restrictions, we are looking forward to an exciting, new programme of films and events in spring 2021, thanks to the BFI culture recovery grant."

Hilary Neal, chairman of trustees, is equally thrilled.

She said: “We have been relieved and delighted to receive support from the cultural recovery fund.

"This has been an essential lifeline to enable the Curzon to welcome audiences back safely and to present an exciting programme of events in the coming months.

"We are immensely grateful for this grant and relieved that we can continue to plan ahead for a better 2021."

More than 200 independent cinemas across the country are being supported this Christmas with £16million in grants from the Government’s £1.57billion cultural recovery fund.

Ben Roberts, BFI's chief executive, said: “Across the country, local independent cinemas are hubs and lifelines for communities and often the only form of culture and entertainment.

"From educational programmes and workshops for young people to screenings for the elderly and audiences with specialised needs, these cinemas play such an important role in people’s lives.

"The culture recovery fund will mean that many of these cinemas survive the current crisis, and go on to play a vital role in the recovery of local economies and communities, bringing people together to offer joy, solace and the magic of the big screen.”