Culture Secretary announces £60m kids' TV fund

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has announced a new £60 million fund to help increase the range of children’s TV in the UK. 

Content creators will be able to apply for up to 50% of the production and distribution costs of original TV shows.  The money - which has been made available as a result of unspent funds from the previous BBC licence fee settlement - will be distributed over three years as part of a pilot starting in 2019.

Programmes from new and diverse backgrounds, and those made in the nations and regions, will be a particular focus. The money will be available for content broadcast on commercial Public Service Broadcasters, on other free and on-demand platforms, and potentially online too.

The British Film Institute has been provisionally appointed as administrator for the fund and will work with government on its final design. The Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport has estimated that spending on children’s television by PSBs in the UK has fallen by £55 million over the last decade and the investment aims to help reverse that trend.

“High quality children’s television is not only entertaining but plays a vital role in stimulating learning and giving young people a greater understanding of the world around them,” Bradley said.

“This significant investment will give our world-renowned television production sector the boost it needs to create innovative content for a wider audience that would otherwise not be made.

“The Children’s Media Foundation welcomes the confirmation that the new Contestable Content Fund will focus on the children’s audience,” added Anna Home OBE, Chair of the Children’s Media Foundation.

“It’s a much-needed stimulus for the UK’s children’s media-makers and we hope it will bring new and exciting content for children of all ages that could not otherwise have been commissioned.”

A detailed policy paper will be published in 2018 setting out how the fund will work, with the first awards distributed from the beginning of 2019/20.