We're delighted that the Government has today announced a new three-year £3m Audio Content Fund, to launch next April. This substantial investment will be used to support production of a broad range of public service audio content, predominantly on commercial radio, and made in partnership with audio production companies across the UK - companies like yours!

Audio Content Fund imageAudioUK and the commercial radio industry body, Radiocentre, have created a new independent not-for-profit organisation to administer the Fund. Decisions on funding will be made by a panel of independent experts, using the evaluation criteria, which include nations and regions, and diversity.

Recruitment for a fund manager and members of the panel has commenced today. Information on how to apply for funding, timing and the evaluation process will be published early next year, at the website: www.audiocontentfund.org.uk

This is a huge opportunity for our sector to build long-lasting creative partnerships with commercial radio and other broadcasters. It's the culmination of AudioUK's extensive lobbying work on your behalf since the Government first announced the idea of a contestable public service content fund in the 2016 BBC white paper.

Your membership allows us the staffing and other resources required to grow our sector through initiatives such as this. I'd particularly like to thank our Managing Director, Will Jackson, and our Policy and Communications Adviser, Tim Wilson, for their considerable work on this project; and our partners at Radiocentre for their strong support throughout.

The Executive Summary of the Government's policy paper, published today, is below, and I urge you to read the full document at:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/contestable-fund-final-scope

Phil Critchlow
Chair, AudioUK, 19 October 2018


Executive Summary

This document outlines the final design of the 3 year Contestable Fund pilot of up to £60 million that will support the provision and plurality of difficult-to-produce UK public service content.

Following the consultation paper and government response, this policy paper will confirm aspects of the design and outline new additions to the pilot, including:
● An Audio Content Fund
● Development funding to encourage new voices
● Support for UK indigenous language programming
● The evaluation criteria that applications will be measured against

The pilot phase of the Contestable Fund will be comprised of two similar, yet administratively separate funds:
● The Young Audiences Content Fund, administered by the BFI, which will assign up to £57 million to support public service content for young audiences up to 18 years of age.
● The Audio Content Fund, administered by a separate not-for-profit organisation set up by Radiocentre and AudioUK, which will assign up to £3 million to support a broad range of public service audio content, for all ages, on a wider spectrum of UK radio stations.

Both of these funds will create new opportunities for broadcasters and producers to make public service content that adds to viewer and listener choice. It will create innovative and challenging content from new and diverse voices that would not otherwise be made, and will enhance opportunities for greater diversity representation, both on and off air.

The full DCMS press release is here

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