The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Young Audiences Content Fund Soon To Launch

Three CMF views on the new content fund and its operational plans.

Greg Childs
Director, CMF

 

 

The much awaited - and CMF campaigned for - Young Audiences Content Fund should be operational within a few weeks.  Operated by the BFI - under its newly appointed Fund Head, former BBC Executive Jackie Edwards - it’s a three year pilot with a £57m budget. The Fund is aimed principally at production grants, but with some of its resources dedicated to stimulating development, and to UK minority languages.  It will offer 50% of the funding for productions which have the backing of a public service broadcaster and can also prove they have the remaining 50% of finance in place.

The big CMF success story is that our campaign to dedicate the Fund to young people has really paid off. The Fund is aimed at content for 0-18 year olds, which will need to be substantially British in nature - using the BFI film and animation cultural test as the basis for assessment. It can be in any genre and while challenging factual is part of the remit, entertainment is certainly being encouraged too.  It means that at long last there is the real possibility of halting the ongoing decline in the provision of PSB content for younger audiences.

The BFI recently consulted on the criteria for eligibility and CMF comments were taken into account in making the guidelines clearer. There are still questions as to how producers will raise all of the match funding. But the BFI - echoed by Baroness Benjamin at a recent CMF-curated All Party Parliamentary event - have made it clear that discussions with the broadcasters are progressing well. The BFI have also assured us that as the project is a pilot it will maintain flexibility in assessing the criteria, the flow of applications and whether projects are being green-lit. If necessary they will alter things to make the fund work - that’s what pilots are for.

The Fund has a set up two Advisory Committees - one on its general strategy - and CMF Chair Anna Home is our representative on that. The other is for producers to feed their reactions ot the operation of the fund and that is chaired by CMF Board member and Academic Advisory Board member, Professor Jeanette Steemers of Kings College, London.


Anna Home
Chair, CMF

 

 

The Young Audiences Strategic Advisory Group, chaired by Bill Mcleod from BBC Alba, will advise The Head of the Fund and the BFI Executive Board on the overall strategy and direction of the Fund, and will assess the performance, decision making and success of the fund as it develops, making sure that it is maximising its assets and meets industry needs. If there are problems as the Fund  develops, the group will advise on changes and potential solutions. It will also have a role in reviewing the final outcome of the pilot.

The Advisory Group is not involved in any funding decisions.

The members of the group include representatives from Channel 5; The DCMS; BFI Network ; PACT; ITV; Animation UK; S4C; CMF; John Whittingdale MP, and Baroness Benjamin representing the APPG for Children’s Media and The Arts



Jeanette Steemers
Professor of Culture, Media and Creative Industries≈
Kings College, London

 

The Young  Audiences Content Fund Steering Group will be made up of producers and other interested parties and advise the Head of Fund and the BFI Executive Board on the usability and direction of the fund from an ‘end user’ perspective. The role of the Steering Group is as follows:

  • Provide cross industry TV expertise, advocacy, guidance and support over the life of the Fund.
  • Give advice and assistance to the DCEO, BFI Executive Board, YACF Strategic Advisory Group and Head of YACF on the formulation and implementation of the Fund.
  • Oversee a successful strategy for the Fund, which meets the needs of the UK industry and aligns with the DCMS’s objectives for the Fund as detailed in the policy document.
  • Monitor and oversee the progress of the Fund – in line with the Evaluation framework - to ensure it is achieving its agreed objectives.

Industry Policy

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