Sustain: Develop

We have recorded an audio version of us reading the copy for Sustain Develop in case that is useful for you. Audio versions of the application form and terms and conditions can also be found at the bottom of this page.

Alternatively you can read on to find out more about the coaching programme below.

Sustain Develop is here to help you realise, develop and produce your next great idea!

Access three sessions with Cinema For All coaches Ellie and Abi to help further develop a project you have in mind to take your community cinema to the next level. The sessions last up to 90 minutes each and can be:

  • Any of our existing workshops on topics including sustainability, equipment, marketing, fundraising and more.
  • A project planning session which provides you with a written version for you to take away, or simply a chance to have a deeper conversation about your ideas and plans for your project and we will offer any extra help we can.
  • A customised workshop in an area you would like to know more about e.g. marketing for family friendly screenings.
  • Support with research and being linked with helpful contacts and organisations for your project.

You will also receive a £600 bursary to go towards helping you achieve your project.

This project can be anything; an immersive or special event, a festival, developing your team’s skills with training, creating a website/online presence or an audience development or outreach project. Past projects have included a cinema walking tour, an audience accessibility research project and a special screening both online and in person accompanied by a zine.

All workshops take place over Zoom which is free to use and download, and you don’t need an account to use it. This makes it easy for your team to join in from their homes and to do the workshops at a time that is convenient for the group. We tailor the workshops to your needs and goals. We start the coaching process with a self-evaluation session to understand what skills you already have and what you want to get out of the coaching programme.


‘I cannot overstate how much I am grateful for the support doing a Sustain has given me & therefore benefited our community. It has gone from having half an idea to a megaproject with a long term legacy.  It has been a lifeline to have someone to email and to call or zoom. We had such a change of plan to how we expected 2020 to go.’ – Chorley Community Cinema (Sustain Develop 2020 participant)


In the four years Sustain has been running, we have supported 93 groups across the UK with coaching and bursary support to help them continue to flourish.

Many groups not only come away with new skills, knowledge and helpful resources, but a greater sense of unity with their fellow volunteers and audience members.


How to apply:

To apply, please complete the application form comprising five short questions and send it to by midnight 30 May 2021. If your application has been successful we will notify you by 3 June 2021.

Download the application form. Please read the guidance notes and terms and conditions before applying.

Cinema For All is committed to making the application process for our coaching programmes as accessible as possible. We welcome applications either by:

  • The original written application
  • Video file
  • Audio file
  • Or you can arrange a Zoom call with Ellie or Abi and they will write your answers as you say them

Cinema For All values diversity and we encourage applications from people of African or Caribbean heritage, people of South, East and South East Asian heritage, people who experience racism, LGBTQI+ people and people with disabilities.

We also encourage applications from groups based in Wolverhampton, Cumbria, Grimsby and Derry/Londonderry in particular, as cinema provision in these areas is lower than in other parts of the country, but groups from all over the UK are welcome to apply.

If you have any access requirements and would like an alternative way to apply, please contact Ellie at and we can arrange an alternative method of application. We apologise that we are not able to offer support over the phone at this time as the Cinema For All team are working remotely and we unfortunately do not have our usual office phone access. However, we can arrange to talk over Zoom with you.


As a BFI supported initiative there is priority given to programmes that support British, independent and specialised cinema. You can read the BFI’s definition of specialised cinema here.

Applicants will be scored on their knowledge and understanding of the make-up and diversity of their community and a range of efforts made to reach diverse groups within their community. You can read more about the BFI’s standards on and definition of diversity here.

Want to find out about all things community cinema? Sign up to our mailing list to find out about opportunities, exciting news and helpful information for your community cinema here.

Audio version of the Application Form for Sustain Develop:

Audio version of the Guidance Notes and Terms and Conditions for Sustain Develop:

With the support of the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.