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Regional indies benefit from BBC's new development fund

Category: BBC

Date: 16.06.2005
Printable version

Eleven independent production companies from around the UK will be the first to receive special funding from the BBC as part of its new regional development fund.


The fund of £500,000 was launched earlier this year by the BBC's Independent Executive, Elaine Bedell, to help support and develop independent companies based outside the M25.


The cash awards will be supplemented by fast-tracked access to key BBC commissioners and regular meetings to progress ideas.


The companies to receive funding this year are:


Boomerang/Blast (Wales)


Tern Productions (Scotland)


Waddell Productions (Belfast)


Liberty Bell (Newcastle)


Channel K (Manchester)


Tightrope Productions (Manchester)


Maverick (Birmingham)


North One Midlands (Birmingham)


Flashback Productions (Bristol)


Diverse West (Bristol)


Touch Productions (Bath)


Independent producers were invited to submit their creative strategies supplemented by a business plan and proposed key personnel.


Decisions were based on the creativity, originality and ambition of the ideas submitted, the strength of the business plans and the judging panel's assessment of the long-term potential for the company.


More than 110 applications were received and were assessed by a panel chaired by Elaine Bedell and including Jane Tranter (Controller, Drama Commissioning), Jane Lush (Controller, Entertainment Commissioning) and Glenwyn Benson (Controller, Factual Programmes).


"There were some incredibly strong applications and we were forced to make some very hard decisions as to where the money went," says Elaine Bedell.


"This year, particularly, we wanted to invest in companies already based - or opening up - in our key creative clusters.


"We're determined to increase network commissioning from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as the North of England.


"Now that we have a factual commissioner based in Bristol, we were keen to support the growing indie community there as well. But in the end, the best creative strategies won."


Applications for the new fund were thrown open to indies in all regions of the UK, to both indigenous companies and London-based firms planning to open or already operating bases outside the capital.


The fund is part of a package of measures designed to help and support network producers outside London.


Other initiatives include the BBC-funded Series Producer training course managed by the Research Centre in Glasgow which is about to advertise for candidates to start the course in October, and a small fund set aside as travel bursaries for short-listed companies who are asked to travel to London to meet commissioners.



Category: BBC

Date: 16.06.2005
Printable version


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