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external shot of Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

Eden Court

Eden Court has been awarded a £250,000 grant from the Scottish Government’s Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.

night shot of Eden Court Theatre Inverness

Support during COVID-19

Eden Court is Scotland’s largest single-site arts venue and a cultural hub for the people of, and visitors to, the Highlands and Islands. They annually engage over 300,000 people through their programme of events. Over 18,000 delegates attend conferences at Eden Court on an annual basis. Their education programme works with school groups across the Highlands exposing a wider group of children to the arts many of whom would not ordinarily get the opportunity to visit the theatre.

At their home in Inverness, Eden Court has two large theatres, two multi-purpose studios, two cinemas and three art galleries. They also have permanent public art, inside and outside their building.

The business contributes significantly to the wider local economy of the Inverness area including restaurant bookings and thousands of bed nights every year for artists and companies visiting and presenting their work at the venue. Without Eden Court there would be no access to venue-based performing arts organisation of scale in the Highlands and Inverness would lose a significant events venue.

The impact of COVID-19 has been immense. The theatre has been closed since lockdown and almost the entire workforce has been furloughed (134) with only 13 employees continuing to support the day-to-day operation.

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund was managed by Scotland’s three enterprise agencies on behalf of Scottish Government. There was a high demand for the fund which received more than 5,000 applications Scotland-wide. Grants totalling almost £20m have been approved by HIE to 372 businesses across the Highlands and Islands.

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund award is critical in Eden Court’s recovery. It will allow them to start the significant preparations to ensure that the venue is safe and secure for when they re-open. Their plans include making some major physical alterations by creating an entrance to the rear of the building that will be used only by staff, visitors and artists, meaning the front and current entrance is only used by the general public. This allows the two areas to operate independently ensuring that all those entering through the rear entrance can be logged in and out appropriately.

The long and short of it is, the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund award has been an absolute lifeline for Eden Court. We could have been facing insolvency if our application hadn’t been successful. This is a hugely important first step in our recovery.
James Mackenzie-Blackman, chief executive, Eden Court

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