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Lights, camera, action! Light House cinema reaches £10,000 fundraising target

By Rebecca Sayce | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published:

Cinema lovers rejoice! Wolverhampton's Light House cinema has reached its fundraising target.

The Light House

The iconic city centre cinema achieved its £10,000 target, named Help Us Switch The Lights Back On, launched last month.

"You did it! Thank you everyone! You helped us smash our £10k target and we couldn’t be more grateful," a post from the venue said

"There are still 12 hours to go if you want to donate. We’re just going to sit and cry some happy tears for a bit."

The independent cinema, based in the Chubb Buildings, has been working with EnPro group to investigate how to make the building coronavirus-safe.

The venue has been closed since lockdown began in March.

Light House CEO Kelly Jeffs said that as well as meeting their online target of £10,000, an extra £1,400 has been raised by cheque and in-person donations since the beginning of September.  

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She said: "We’ve had over 350 supporters contributing to our Help Us Switch The Lights Back On campaign and we’d like to thank every single one of them, both those that donated through Crowdfunder online and those that sent us donations through the post. We’ve been deeply moved by the wonderful comments we’ve received about Light House – it really confirmed to us that we’re at the heart of the community and so much more than a cinema. "We can’t wait to welcome our audiences back as safely as possible and will be working over the next few weeks to implement our reopening strategy.

"We’re waiting to hear the outcome of 2 National Lottery funding applications through the BFI, so we’ll keep everyone updated with our progress with those, but the success of the Crowdfunder has been a fantastic boost."

The fundraiser read: "The effect of the global pandemic has been devastating for charities and self-sufficient businesses like Light House (a registered charity since 2012).

"Our main aim over the last eight years has been to operate a sustainable business model, with our income coming from ticket sales, events, private hires and cafe revenue.

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"The enforced shutdown cut off all our income streams in one go, while a majority of fixed costs remain (contracts and agreements such as insurance, rent and some utilities).

"We were successful in our application for a resilience grant from the British Film Institute and National Lottery that has allowed our CEO to work with our trustees on a reopening strategy, and we are currently in the process of applying to the BFI Culture Recovery Fund.

"While we await the outcome of that application, we critically need donations to be able to put our reopening strategy into action."

The cinema says it will use the funds for additional signage and safety equipment, additional cleaning and specialist processes, and training for staff to ensure safety.

The Light House has been struggling since it lost a council subsidy worth £73,000 a year in 2015 and was on the brink of closure in 2018.

A Save Light House campaign was started in a bid to help the venue, which has two cinema screens, two galleries, a cafe bar and indoor courtyard.

To donate to the fundraiser, click here.

Rebecca Sayce

By Rebecca Sayce
@becci_star

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me: rebecca.sayce@expressandstar.co.uk

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