Secret Cinema’s $1.3M UK Government Grant Provokes Backlash

UK event cinema organization Secret Cinema has received criticism after it was revealed that the company has received a £977,000 ($1.3M) grant from the UK government as part of its Culture Recovery Fund.

The fund, administered by Arts Council England, was created to support businesses adversely affected by the pandemic disruption and is offering grants of between £50,000 and £3M. It is part of the UK government’s wider £1.57BN Culture Recovery package.

According to reports today, around a third of applicants were rejected, with 1,422 of 2000 applying organizations receiving backing. The money is designed to help these orgs survive through to March 2021 amidst ongoing pandemic challenges.

The parameters of the fund were to provide “financial support for cultural organisations that were financially stable before COVID-19, but were at imminent risk of failure”.

Commentators on social media (including filmmaker Charlie Shackleton, see below) criticized the company for taking the

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