The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

The Young Audiences Content Fund Campaign

This Campaign has been launched by a group of individuals and organisations concerned about the future of the Young Audiences Content Fund. Campaign activity is coordinated by the Children's Media Foundation.

In March 2022, the Open Letter below was sent to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Thanks to everyone that joined the campaign to restore the Young Audiences Content Fund by adding their name to the signatories list.

Signatories include:

  • Anna Home OBE Chair The Children’s Media Foundation
  • Kate O'Connor Executive Chair Animation UK
  • Colin Browne Chairman The Voice of the Listener & Viewer
  • John McVay Chief Executive Pact
  • Dyfrig Davies Chairperson Teledwyr Annibynnol Cymru / Welsh Independent Producers
  • Vicky Ireland MBE FRSA Chair, Action for Children's Arts
  • Gail Renard Writers' Guild of Great Britain
  • Dara McGarry Co-chair Animated Women UK
  • Barbara Ann Hayes Deputy Chief Executive Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society
  • Elin Maher National Director Parents for Welsh Medium Education/ RHAG
  • Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE OBE
  • Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE
  • Lord David Puttnam
  • Russell T Davies OBE Scriptwriter
  • Máire Messenger Davies Emerita Professor of Media Studies, Ulster University
  • Frank Cottrell-Boyce Author & Screenwriter
  • Anne Wood CBE Founder & Creative Director, Ragdoll Productions
  • Michael Rosen Writer, broadcaster, professor,Goldsmiths University of London
  • Brian Cosgrove OBE Producer of children's films
  • Lemn Sissay OBE  Chancellor, Manchester University
  • Karen Lury Professor of Film and Television Studies, University of Glasgow
  • Laura Henry-Allain MBE Producer, storyteller and consultant
  • Joe Godwin Former Director, BBC Children's
  • Keith Chapman Creator of Kids' and Family IP, Keith Chapman Productions
  • Patrick Barwise Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing, London Business School
  • Matthew Rhys Actor
  • Kay Benbow Former Controller, CBeebies, Vice-chair YACF Steering Group
  • Oliver Hyatt MBE Creative Director, Blue Zoo Animation
  • Sally Lindsay Actor and writer
  • Laverne Antrobus Consultant Child and Educational Psychologist, working in the NHS
  • Tom Van Waveren Animation Producer
  • Jeanette Steemers Professor of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College, London
  • Dr Ranj Singh Doctor & TV Presenter
  • Philip Schlesinger Professor in Cultural Theory, University of Glasgow
  • Jackie Marsh Professor, University of Sheffield
  • Peter Lord CBE Founder & Creative Director, Aardman Animations
  • Sean Clarke MD, Aardman Animations
  • Faraz Osman MD, Gold Wala, Chair BAFTA Children's and Young People's Committee
  • Sonia Livingstone Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Michael Carrington Former Controller, CBeebies

The Rt. Hon. Nadine Dorries MP
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
100 Parliament Street
London SW1A 2BQ

Dear Secretary of State

We the undersigned call upon you to reverse the decision to close the Young Audiences Content Fund by the end of February 2022 - a decision which appears to have taken place without the "full evaluation" of the pilot which the government promised.

The Fund should be restored for a further three years so that it can continue to provide a greater range of public service content for our children and young people - the vital stories that capture the diversity of their lives and experiences as citizens of the UK.

The consequences of the pandemic for young people are of considerable concern, including pressures on mental health, educational attainment, socialisation and engagement. There has never been a more important time to support a wide range of informative and engaging public service content which can address these issues.

When it launched, the Fund was a perfect example of joined-up government, complementing Ofcom's new powers to regulate the commercial public service broadcasters. Without it we return to "market failure", with the BBC as the only commissioner of original content for young people in the UK, at a time when its budgets have effectively been reduced by the licence fee freeze.

With that in mind, the DCMS should fund this initiative directly, mirroring recently announced funding for the games industry and UK Global Screen Fund. For as little as £10 million a year, the fund could support a variety of genres and age-targets, continuing to address levelling-up through production in the nations and regions while also supporting the UK's indigenous languages.

If the Fund closes the losers will be:

  • British children who will see themselves less and hear fewer of their stories
  • The children's media industry which is a strong competitor in international markets and employs considerable numbers of people across the UK
  • Society as a whole, which will be forced to accommodate a generation of disengaged citizens who have grown up on a diet of primarily international media content as the source of their information and inspiration, and who no longer feel a connection to our shared values and beliefs.

Restoration of the Fund will also ensure that, as the debate on the future of public service funding and delivery takes place over the next few years, there is an organisation in place that can be adapted to react to changes in audience behaviour and preferences.

In the meantime It will ensure there is no interruption to the competitive, plural supply of relevant public service content for the young audience that is so often overlooked and for whom it is so important.

We recommend a swift decision to extend the life of the Fund so that continuity is maintained.

Latest Signatures
1,053 Alexis Menace Head of Marketing A+C Studios Jan 13, 2023
1,052 Nigel Lovell Director Oh So Funny Comedy Jul 15, 2022
1,051 James Wallis Private Citizen Jun 19, 2022
1,050 Natalie Louise Producer NKD Films Jun 15, 2022
1,049 Anna McCann Citizen Jun 10, 2022
1,048 Amanda Anthony CRBA Manager May 03, 2022
1,047 Jon Rowlands Senior Lecturer Apr 26, 2022
1,046 Ben Murrell Producers’ Assistant Apr 26, 2022
1,045 Philip Lawrence Writer Apr 26, 2022
1,044 Faye Kenny Trainee development assistant Duck Soup Films Apr 26, 2022
1,043 Celine Coulson Executive Producer Duck Soup Films Apr 25, 2022
1,042 Rebekah Wray-Rogers Company Director Duck Soup Films Apr 25, 2022
1,041 Jessica Brown Meek Company Director Duck Soup Films Ltd Apr 23, 2022
1,040 Katie Simmons Company Director King Banana TV Apr 20, 2022
1,039 Peter Hynes Series Creator/Writer Honcho Poncho Ltd Apr 13, 2022
1,038 Nic Marshall Executive Director Square Eyes Film Foundation Apr 13, 2022
1,037 Charlene Douglas Parent Apr 06, 2022
1,036 Tom Sawbridge Teacher Apr 02, 2022
1,035 Kate Henderson Lead Writer Moonbug Mar 29, 2022
1,034 Rupa Huq Member of Parliament for Ealing Central and Acton Member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Mar 29, 2022
1,033 Richard Schwartz Financial journalist Mar 28, 2022
1,032 Trevor Woolery Director Create Animate ltd. Mar 28, 2022
1,031 David McKenna Animation director/animator Dave Mckenna Mar 25, 2022
1,030 Rebecca Fox Storyboard Artist/Director Freelance Mar 25, 2022
1,029 Elsa Esteban Art Director Shy Guys Mar 24, 2022
1,028 Karina Stanford-Smith Director of Animation Development Snipple Animation Ltd Mar 24, 2022
1,027 Ann Fielding Manager Mar 24, 2022
1,026 Nicky Cox CEO Fresh Start Media and Editor First News Mar 23, 2022
1,025 Michael Heneghan Writer Mar 23, 2022
1,024 Maria Quiroga creative producer animatropo Mar 23, 2022
1,023 Rebecca O’Reilly Producer Company Film Solutions Mar 22, 2022
1,022 Mark Davies Art Director/ Animator/ Illustrator Mark Davies Art Mar 22, 2022
1,021 Tim Hopewell Director Mar 22, 2022
1,020 Katy Segrove Screenwriter Pick up Your Pen Mar 22, 2022
1,019 Peter Griffiths director of production Brown bag films Mar 22, 2022
1,018 Sara Barbas Writer-Director Mar 22, 2022
1,017 Aisling Gallagher Managing Director HopSkip Studios Ltd Mar 22, 2022
1,016 Sharon Capper freelance Floor Manager Mar 22, 2022
1,015 Suzy Parr Director/Animator Aardman Animations Mar 22, 2022
1,014 David Moore Screenwriter Script Bunny Limited Mar 20, 2022
1,013 Carole Tongue Ms Uk Coalition for Cultural Diversity Mar 17, 2022
1,012 Nicole Davis Script Writer / Voice artist Mar 17, 2022
1,011 Simon Hall Series Producer Simon Hall Media Limited Mar 16, 2022
1,010 Tim Clague Director Nelson Nutmeg Pictures Mar 14, 2022
1,009 P.G. Bell Children's author and parent Self employed Mar 14, 2022
1,008 Caroline Lee Teaching assistant Early years learning Mar 11, 2022
1,007 Adil Ali Director Sincere Digital Mar 11, 2022
1,006 Safeena Jan Parent Mar 11, 2022
1,005 Emily Gale Executive Coach Mar 11, 2022
1,004 Seema Jan Grandparent CBMDC Mar 10, 2022

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