Page last updated at 15:30 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Scotland's most southerly cinema scoops award

Machars Movies
The south of Scotland cinema has won a "rural Oscar"

Scotland's most southerly cinema has been recognised in the Countryside Alliance's "rural Oscars".

Machars Movies in the Isle of Whithorn took the top honour in the rural enterprise category.

The fifth annual awards attracted a record 2,500 nominations from right across Britain.

Countryside Alliance chief executive Simon Hart said judges had been impressed with a project that the local community had "started from scratch".

He said: "I don't think there is another enterprise quite like it.

"Machars Movies has the distinction of being the most southerly cinema in Scotland at the isolated Isle of Whithorn, population 300.

The judges were impressed that the community started this project from scratch
Simon Hart
Countryside Alliance

"Volunteers have worked hard to see the crumbling St Ninian's Hall become an all-purpose venue with an 80-seat cinema, and undertook the repairs, decoration and promotion of the project themselves."

He said the scheme had proved to be a financial success.

"From grant funding, Machars Movies is now self-funding," he said.

"Better than that, it returns its profits to the village hall and other local projects, so in turn provides essential facilities for a variety of village groups.

"The judges were impressed that the community started this project from scratch, providing a now-vital social enterprise in an isolated rural location."

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