Culture Secretary establishes $82 million contestable fund to invest in homegrown programming for kids.
LONDON -- Animation U.K.’s campaign to secure additional money for children’s TV programming received a boost following Culture Secretary Karen Bradley’s recently announced plans for a £60 million ($82 million) contestable fund for children’s TV content.
Animation U.K. launched its lobby for the contestable fund for children’s TV programming in 2015 in an open letter to the secretary of state from Animation U.K. chair Oli Hyatt, signed by more than 70 of the industry’s most senior figures. It has been working hard since to secure the best deal possible for children’s TV ever since, in a series of meetings with members of the DCMS and a formal response to the Contestable Fund Consultation in February 2017.
The response urged a government intervention to tackle clear under-investment in high quality, high value and free to air PSB content for a demographic that accounts for 18 percent of the audience overall.
The contestable fund will have the potential to support up to 50 percent of production and distribution costs and will encourage projects from “new and diverse backgrounds” and those “made in the nations and regions” -- all features of the Animation U.K. request to the government.
“Today’s announcement is great news for the children’s TV and animation industry,” says Oli Hyatt, co-chairman of Animation U.K. and founder of BAFTA-winning production company Blue Zoo Animation. “Original domestic TV animation has not just been at risk but in danger of permanent decline and this announcement will go some way to halting that.”
“This is a huge win for Animation U.K.,” says Kate O’Connor, executive chairwoman, Animation U.K. “The new fund and Ofcom’s new powers to set quotas for children's shows on public service broadcasters will make a significant difference to the content seen by U.K. audiences and we look forward to seeing the animation industry in the U.K. continue to go from strength to strength.”
“We are looking forward to continuing discussions with the DCMS and other partners about this fund and the quotas to ensure that we can continue to sustain and develop the UK animation sector.”
Source: Animation U.K.