Panel announced to oversee Audio Content Fund

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The members of the Funding Panel have been revealed for the new Audio Content Fund, which is funded by a grant of up to £3m from the UK government to support original radio and audio production

The Panel will be chaired by Helen Boaden, who until 2017 was Director of BBC Radio, is joined on the Panel by John Myers, Mukti Jain Campion and Kate Cocker. It will assess bids for funding, working closely with Managing Director Sam Bailey, who formally takes up his post at the beginning of April 2019.

John Myers has a strong background in commercial radio, while Mukti Jain Campion is a highly-respected former independent producer. Kate Cocker is a multi-talented Manchester-based radio expert who currently works as a consultant. The Panel will be supported by a range of additional experts to be appointed, including Advisors for the Nations.

The Fund has also published official guidelines for those seeking to bid for funding. The guidelines add detail on timelines; how to meet the eight criteria set out by the Government; and more information on how to construct bids for UK indigenous languages and community radio. Independent production companies will need to formulate bids and obtain a guarantee of broadcast from an Ofcom-licensed radio station.

Helen Boaden said:

“I’m delighted and honoured to have been asked to Chair the Funding Panel for the new Audio Content Fund. It’s an exciting new project with huge potential. I am looking forward to working with John, Mukti and Kate in assessing the various bids. Given the extraordinary interest in the Fund, I expect that we’ll have our work cut out for us over the coming months.”

Siobhan Kenny, a Director of the Audio Content Fund, said:

“Helen will be a wonderful Chair of the Funding Panel. We are fortunate to have secured her support and that of such a talented and experienced team. Their help and advice will be invaluable in establishing the Audio Content Fund as a source of funding for innovative new public service radio programming”.

Will Jackson, a Director of the Audio Content Fund, said:

“We’re very pleased to be able to announce such a strong list of names for our Panel, who will bring to bear their extensive knowledge and experience from across the industry. The Fund has already created much excitement in the radio broadcast and independent production sectors, and we hope the guidance will answer many questions from those seeking to bid for funding.”

The Audio Content Fund will be responsible for distributing funding to support original radio and audio production in the UK. It is a pilot scheme funded by a grant of up to £3m (including administration costs) from the UK Government. Funding will be used to produce distinctive, public service radio programming that is traditionally more difficult to support on a commercial basis (such as, but not exclusively, documentaries, comedy, drama, events). The fund will invite bids from audio production companies that are working in conjunction with Ofcom-licensed radio stations who have agreed to broadcast the output.

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