Audio Content Fund announces ‘fantastic’ first round of winning bids

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The Audio Content Fund has announced the results of its first funding round, with successful bids worth £234,000 showcasing a range and diversity of ideas and talent across a number of radio stations.

The fund, which was established by AudioUK and Radiocentre and is financed by the UK Government, received 50 applications in its first round of bidding, with nine selected for funding. The selected projects involve eight different production companies making content to be broadcast on 17 different radio stations, including Absolute Radio, Magic Radio Network, Fun Kids, and a partnership of community radio stations.

Winning bids, from production companies including Made in Manchester, TBI Media, and Whistledown, cover genres such as drama, documentary, sport, discussion, live music and comedy. Two formats focus on mental health, one focuses on life-changing songs and the other a week of live music and comedy. The other funded shows are: a space-race soap opera for children; a football show hosted by an all-BAME presenting trio; a country music documentary hosted by first-time presenters in Northern Ireland; monthly ‘radio ballads’ on topical social issues based on workshop recordings of 16-25 year olds; a live musical tour of Greater Manchester; and a 100-strong series of two-minute packages featuring the people of Devon and Cornwall talking about their relationship with the land.

Sam Bailey, ACF Managing Director, said:

“These winning bids, chosen by our experienced panel, are a great way to start off the fund, with a fantastic range of formats and subjects and covering a wide range of genres. We’re also really pleased that seven of the production companies involved are working with their partner radio stations for the first time, and this is a great example of how we hope this will grow the collaboration between production companies, commercial and community radio.”

Helen Boaden, Chair of the ACF Funding Panel, said:

“The Panel was delighted by the richness and range of the winning bids and can’t wait to hear the final results. We’re looking forward to stations across the UK working closely with Indies on great new ideas which grab their audiences with unexpected and entertaining content.

“John Myers, in his inimitable way, made a huge contribution to the process of choosing the best bids. He cared passionately about great radio and we think this inaugural set of programmes supported by the Audio Content Fund will do him proud.”

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries said:

“I am thrilled with the industry’s positive engagement with the Audio Content Fund’s first funding round, and many congratulations to the nine successful bids.

“The fund is part of a £60m commitment from the Government to stimulate new programming from a range of new voices and on a variety of topics. This is a great achievement for the radio industry and I look forward to this content coming to our ears within the year.”

Find out more information about the winners, and the next funding rounds, at the Audio Content Fund website: www.audiocontentfund.org.uk.

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