Pact is disappointed by this week’s announcement by the DCMS that the Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) will be closed at the end of its three-year pilot period.
From next month (25th February 2022) no new applications will be accepted.
“It’s a bitter blow to something that Pact worked hard to get off the ground and that has been very successful, stimulating broadcasters to make more children’s TV programmes.
Pact CEO, John McVay OBE
Pact campaigned with many other industry organisations 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 since the early noughties. Since the inception of the YACF in 2019, it has helped in the creation of 55 new programmes and 144 development projects. There are 24 projects in production still to air over the next two years.
Pact Member companies who have benefitted from the Fund include Twenty Twenty with Teen First Dates, Dot to Dot with Makeaway Takeaway, Kindle Entertainment with Big Mood, Bowled Over Media with Young Bee-keepers of the World, and Saffron Cherry Productions with The World According to Grandpa.
The future for content serving young audiences – and that of the producers who make it – is now once again looking very uncertain.
Pact CEO John McVay OBE said: “It’s a bitter blow to something that Pact worked hard to get off the ground and that has been very successful, stimulating broadcasters to make more children’s TV programmes. We will be working with others to look at alternatives to ensure that we don’t revert back to the BBC being the only broadcaster making original programming for children.”
Pact will continue to lobby industry and Government on behalf of young audiences and the indies who produce content for them, and will update Members with any developments.