Funding awards of £2,000 - £50,000 per project will be available for audience development activities in the regions.

The first round of applications has opened for Creative England’s Film Culture Fund, with £490,000 (half of Creative England’s total £1m of BFI Lottery funding) available for audience-development related activities.

The fund is looking to invest in audience development within the film exhibition sector, film education activities linked to film exhibition infrastructure and regional screen heritage. Applications are being invited from cinemas, film archives, film festivals, mobile cinemas and film societies outside London.

Awards will range from £2,000 - £50,000 depending on the project. Funded activity can include programming, education, reaching under-served audiences and regional screen heritage. 

Creative England officially launched on Oct 1.

“We’re looking for strong project ideas that we can get behind to help nurture film culture in all its variety, to the benefit of local audiences around the country, and we’re interested in hearing from organisations from all parts of the English regions,” said Jay Arnold who has been appointed to head up the Film Culture department. He previously held the post of head of Cultural Sector Investment at Screen Yorkshire.

The deadline for applications is Nov 28.

Creative England’s talent development fund, headed up by Chris Moll (formerly of South West Screen), is expected to be announced next month. Moll plans to roll out South West’s microbudget scheme iFeatures across the UK.

To date, Creative England has £900,000 of Grant-in-Aid funding and £1m in Lottery funds available for the financial year 2011/2012 for film related activities only.