Eden Court Theatre chiefs have described a £750,000 boost from the government as a “vital lifeline”.
Doors to the Inverness performing arts venue have remained closed since March, leading to a steep decline in income and an uncertain future.
But the popular spot has now been named among 20 receiving a share of the Scottish Government’s £12.5 million performing arts venues relief fund, through Creative Scotland.
The announcement comes just a week after officials axed all live performances until December 4, to focus on a phased reopening at the end of the year.
James Mackenzie-Blackman, chief executive of Eden Court, said staff were “relieved and grateful” to have been given the lifeline to help keep them afloat.
He said: “This investment from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland indicates the vital role Eden Court plays in the creative and cultural life of the Highlands. We are relieved and grateful.
“Over the coming weeks we will share more on how we will use the funds to stabilise the organisation, reimagine our business model and provide opportunities for freelance and independent artists.”
An Lanntair in Stornoway is also going to receive £100,000 in relief in the first £7.5m in grants awarded through the fund.
The government support scheme is designed to ensure the survival of performing arts venues which remain closed due to the pandemic, through removing the threat of insolvency and enabling some furloughed staff to return to work.
Recipients of the second strand will be announced in due course.
It follows an investment of £97m by the UK Government to safeguard Scotland’s culture and heritage sector.
Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Our performing arts venues effectively had to close overnight, with an almost complete loss of income. There is no doubt that in doing so they saved lives, and for that I am extremely grateful.
“We know the impact of this crisis will be long-term so ambitious action to support the future of these organisations, as well as our wider cultural infrastructure, is key.
“This funding will be a vital lifeline to help performing arts venues continue to weather the storm.”
Iain Munro, chief executive of Creative Scotland, said the funds will help Scotland’s top venues tackle the challenges posed by lockdown head on.
He said: “There are significant challenges facing Scotland’s culture sector, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“This funding is much-needed and will help organisations tackle these challenges, but we are aware that budgets are finite and it is not possible to provide financial assistance to every organisation through this route at this time.”