Square Chapel receives huge cash boost to make cinema accessible for all

Gig Buddies initiative at Square Chapel Arts Centre
Gig Buddies initiative at Square Chapel Arts Centre

Square Chapel Arts Centre has received a huge cash grant from Film Hub North as part of the Inclusive Cinema Project - Making Cinema Accessible to All.

The Inclusive Cinema Award consists of a £49,618 grant (over two years) from Film Hub North to enable Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax to replicate the success it’s seen in widening the participation of their programme of live performance, to sustainably grow cinema audiences and ensure that inclusive cinema becomes an integral part of the centre’s programme.

The aim is to increase the diversity of the arts centre’s cinema audience across two specific groups; people of BAMER heritage and people with disabilities.

Ensuring that the new audiences they engage with through the project are quickly embedded into their general film programme and that they can sustain and grow these in the longer term.

Dave Garratt, Square Chapel Film Programmer said: “Through the Inclusive Cinema project we will extend our affordable ticket options and will be trailing a range of options including free, reduced price and pay what you can tickets to films to introduce a new audience to the cinema experience.

"We’re absolutely thrilled to have received this funding and support from Film Hub North for the next two years. We would love to hear from anyone who would like to talk to us about how we can make this work so everyone can enjoy our offer.”

Working in collaboration with local community partners from its existing network who have developed long-term relationships with the targeted audiences, including Halifax Opportunities Trust, Gig Buddies Calderdale, Age UK and The Alzheimer’s Society, Square Chapel will engage in a series of workshops and structured conversations with people from the target audiences to help better understand the barriers to participation and identify ways in which they can then improve the offer, not just in terms of the film programme but also the wider offer which includes the café/bar and other activities.

Square Chapel has always worked hard to ensure that all tickets are as affordable as possible and despite the increasing cost of productions they have not increased their standard ticket prices in six years.

In addition, they have developed initiatives to ensure that everyone can access Square Chapel: