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.

The Open Letter below will be sent to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. You are welcome to join the campaign to restore the Young Audiences Content Fund by adding your 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.

Sign the letter

When you add your signature below you will be sent a verification email. Check your inbox and click on the link to complete the sign-up process.

By signing the letter, you agree to our using the data you provide for the purposes of the Young Audiences Content Fund Campaign. Your name, title and organisation or company will be displayed on the CMF website and shared with the DCMS. It may also be used for campaign promotional use, including press information.

The Young Audiences Content Fund Campaign

1,052 signatures

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1,041 Mrs. Jessica Brown Meek Company Director Duck Soup Films Ltd Apr 23, 2022
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1,037 Ms. Charlene Douglas Parent Apr 06, 2022
1,036 Mr Tom Sawbridge Teacher Apr 02, 2022
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1,034 Dr Rupa Huq Member of Parliament for Ealing Central and Acton Member of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Mar 29, 2022
1,033 Dr Richard Schwartz Financial journalist Mar 28, 2022

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