The ICO offers a fee-based consultancy service to cinema operators, individuals, business people, arts organizations, local authorities, interest groups and others looking to develop a new independent cinema or assess and improve an existing one.

In recent years, the ICO has carried out consultancy in the following areas:

  • audience research
  • business planning
  • film programming
  • technical advice
  • organizational review
  • cinema development and feasibility studies

The fees charged are based on a daily rate of £350 + VAT.

If you have a project that you would like to discuss with us, please contact David Sin | | 020 7079 0475.

Free resource

If you are seeking advice to develop a new cinema, we recommend that you first read How to start a local cinema, the step-by-step guide to planning and operating an independent cinema.


The ICO also offers a one-to-one service, through which film exhibitors (cinemas, festivals, film societies) can discuss specific challenges with one of our experienced Programme team.  One-to-ones last approximately one hour and are charged at £20+VAT per session.  One-to-ones are subsidised by Creative Skillset.

Film Societies

The ICO is funded by the BFI to provide free advice to Film Societies.

"Broadening horizons and seeing the world differently is - or ought to be - in the remit of film. Which makes ICO culturally significant and to be applauded."

The 2010 Guardian Film Power 100

Independent Cinema Office

3rd Floor, Kenilworth House, 79-80 Margaret Street, London W1W 8TA
T: 020 7636 7120 F: 020 7636 7121 E:

Registered in England and Wales. Company 5369193.
ICO is a registered charity No. 1109053