Radio 5 Live awarded second round of BBC North Kicker Fund
Our initial investment helped to create new and long-term relationships with radio indies across the North of EnglandPeter Salmon, Director of BBC North
This is the second year that BBC North has invested in independent producers from across the North of England after a £40,000 funding round in 2010/11.
The fund has been increased to £60,000 and extended to include single commissioning opportunities for BBC Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4 as well as the commissions on Radio 5 Live.
Peter Salmon, Director of BBC North, said: "Our initial investment helped to create new and long-term relationships with radio indies across the North of England which resulted in some original and moving radio programmes. I am confident that our new investment will strengthen these relationships and result in even more exciting and thought-provoking programmes for our listeners."
The first investment in 2010/11 resulted in seven northern-based independents producing commissions covering a range of genres from comedy, drama and documentary that aired on Radio 5 Live between October 2010 and Summer 2011.
The seven commissions comprised a drama starring Tim Healy and Denise Welch marking the 25th anniversary of Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal, produced by Made in Manchester productions, and a topical sports comedy programme parodying the traditional post-match TV coverage, starring John Henshaw and produced by Savvy Productions, which aired during 5 Live's Grand National programming in Liverpool.
Documentaries included: Total Blackout, a documentary by Input Media North looking at the lack of black football managers in the British game. Blue Peter's Helen Skelton looking at the work of Streetreach, a Comic Relief funded project supporting young people in Doncaster, produced by Pearl Works Productions (the company came into existence as a result of the kicker fund). The Kids On Hope Street offered a snapshot of family life in the UK, hearing from children around the country who live on five different streets called Hope Street – from York-based Soundscape Productions. A documentary made by Manchester-based producer Jo Meek followed the stories of some of the UK's Lottery winners. And finally Cancer Trials – Behind The Scenes At The Christie, followed staff and patients at the world's largest early stage cancer trials unit, produced by Blakeway North.
Speaking to an audience of northern independent producers, Jonathan Wall, Deputy Controller, BBC Radio 5 Live, said: "I was really impressed with the creativity and quality of the commissions that northern indies came up with for 5 Live in the last round and I'm delighted to see the other national radio networks on board. There's a big pool of talent here and the commissioning fund can tap into and realise that on air."
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