Jackie Edwards, the Head of the BFI managed Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) has advised producers to “look at what the PSBs are commissioning in the kids’ space” when they are considering applying. This comes as the initial wave of projects backed by the £57m Fund have been announced.
Edwards stressed that as the BFI is match funding broadcasters’ investments, it’s important for producers to be aware of what it is the broadcasters are looking for and called the pot an “amazing gift” to the sector.
She also hinted that applications which involved projects that would likely find commercial funding elsewhere were less likely to be selected, such as those with merchandising spin-off potential.
The first slate of projects backed by the Fund equate to 25 hours of new kids’ programming across nine shows and six broadcasters. Fifty percent of these are in Welsh and Gaelic.
The Fund has so far allocated £3.8m, a third of its budget for the first year.
In response to some indies saying that they had held off applying to the fund in order to wait and see what projects got greenlit on this first slate, Edwards said: “A lot of people who’ve applied said the whole process helped in terms of their projects development, even just filling in the application. It’s a shame if people are delaying applications when this is such a brilliant opportunity.”
More about the YACF and how to apply
The Young Audiences Content Fund opened for applications in April 2019 and runs for three years.
It supports the creation of distinctive, high-quality content for audiences up to the age of 18.
Administered by the BFI, production and development awards from the YACF can contribute to the funding of both live-action and animation programmes across all genres that have public service broadcasting values.
Pact was part of an industry-wide campaign calling for increased funding and commitments for children's content, following a dramatic reduction in spend and investment by the commercial PSBs, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 over the last fifteen years.
The YACF was established to try to address this historic lack of investment in UK content creation for young audiences.
Full guidelines and application information can be found on the BFI website here.