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.

“Why cultural film is no longer a secret, independent cinema is thriving against the odds, says the ICO's Catharine Des Forges, and closer to home than Hollywood”

Read the full article on the Culture Professionals Blog, The Guardian

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