BFI Neighbourhood Cinema FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions about our scheme for touring cinema initiatives.

Sunshine on Leith at The Glenesk Retreat. Screening by NEAT Flicks.

Sunshine on Leith at The Glenesk Retreat. Screening by NEAT Flicks.
Credit: Graham Dargie

Can I discuss my ideas with someone before I make an application?

Before getting in touch, please read the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema guidelines and these common questions. We also recommend reading our overview of the UK Audience Network for Film.

If you would like to discuss the eligibility of your project after you have read these documents please email

What information do I need to include in the application?

Please refer to our guidelines for advice on completing the application form. You’ll also need to send us these documents with your application:

  1. An activity plan – a template is provided.
  2. A balanced budget for your activity – a template is provided.
  3. A project schedule, including key milestones.
  4. Risk register – a template is provided.

You can find more information on the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema page.

How do I check the status of my application?

We’ll send you a confirmation email when we have received your application. The guidelines give you our timetable for processing and responding to applications.

How can I log in to my account?

You can log in to your account through the account login link on the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema page. When you are logged in, you have access to your in-progress or submitted application. If you do not have an account you will be asked to register for one before starting your application.

What kinds of projects will be funded through BFI Neighbourhood Cinema: Pilot Fund for Touring Cinema Initiatives?

This fund supports a broad range of touring cinema initiatives in order to develop film watching in socially, geographically or economically hard-to-reach communities. Example projects include a touring cinema wishing to extend to six new venues in an underserved county. You can find more information in the guidelines.

Can I apply for funding for a single venue?

Unfortunately not – this fund is for touring initiatives taking place in more than one venue. Single organisations with a proven film audience can apply to the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Equipment Fund for equipment to help with screenings.

What is the definition of ‘underserved’?

In this context, underserved areas are those that lack any film provision or only have access to mainstream film.

Can I use awards for All as match?

Yes. Lottery cannot be matched with Lottery where it is passed on to a delegated partner, i.e. could not use Creative England Lottery as match.

Is the project end date fixed or is there some flexibility?

Yes, there is some flexibility – as long as the project is covering at least six months of regular screenings.

Applicants need to send a letter or petition from the community to express its interest in having a cinema, or demonstrate its lack of film provision.

Do I need written confirmation from every partner?

We need written confirmation from each of the communities you are working with.

Do I have to proved a budget for the whole scheme, or only for the new area(s) of work?

The new area of work, but we’d like to see the figures for the whole budget if expenditure is paying for a proportion of the staff cost.

Do I have to be a member of one of the nine Film Audience Network Hubs to be eligible to apply?

We would expect organisations to be working with their Film Hub, but it isn’t an essential requirement.

What can awards from the Pilot Fund for Touring Cinema Initiatives be used for?

You can use the funding for marketing, screenings, training, staff and events, but not for large capital purchases.

What equipment can be purchased? Will the fund cover Digital Cinema Package?

You can include requests for small pieces of equipment, necessary to deliver the project, in your application. The BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Fund has limited funds and unfortunately we cannot fund DCP. Please refer to section three of the guidelines for more information on how you can use funding.

Will there be another fund next year? If I am successful in round one, can I apply again in round two?

There will be another round of the fund in 2014. If you applied in round one, you may apply again for round two as long as your application meets our requirements.

Can I request feedback if I am unsuccessful?

Please email if you would like feedback on your application.

My question has not been answered here. How do I contact you?

Please get in touch by emailing

  • BFI Neighbourhood Cinema

    BFI Neighbourhood Cinema

    BFI Neighbourhood Cinema helps people create a cinema experience in their local community venue.

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