BBC announces five-point plan to help indies

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BBC

The BBC has announced a "five-point plan" to back independent production companies during the coronavirus crisis.

Bal Samra, BBC Group Commercial Director, said: “The measures announced will provide investment in purposeful activity and enable production companies to continue a pipeline of quality ideas and programmes, in both the short and long term.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of Content, added: “We want to do what we can to keep creativity focused and thriving so that we can continue to bring audiences the high quality content that they expect.

"These measures demonstrate our long term commitment to sustaining the creative health of the industry, right across the UK.”

The five points are:

1. A company-centric approach to impacted productions

BBC: "We will continue working closely with production companies on current projects which have been disrupted, to find supportive solutions wherever possible. This will include being flexible around delivery, and varying cash flow as appropriate on a title-by-title basis."

2. Doubling up our investment in the Small Indie Fund

BBC: "We will scale up our ring-fenced funding in the previously announced Small Indie Fund this year from £1m to £2m. This additional funding for companies across TV and film will enable us to increase the value of our investment in some cases and work with a larger number of companies who’ve already expressed an interest in the Fund - focusing particularly on the smallest producers, those in the nations and regions or with diverse leadership. We will identify and ringfence clear short/medium term development opportunities for this group and give them clear commissioning contacts."

3. Supercharging development

BBC: We will inject additional development spend over the next few months to focus on both short and long term opportunities. We will openly communicate these to the sector over the next few weeks via our website and online briefings in relevant genres

4. Expanding BBC Three creative partnerships in other nations and regions 

BBC Three already has a successful partnership with BBC NI and NI Screen which has seen producers secure fact entertainment pilots for the channel. Working with BBC Nations and Regions and interested sector partners, we will extend this model to other areas of the UK in a variety of genres. Following an open brief, shortlisted companies will receive development funding and in-depth online sessions with the BBC Three team. The best ideas will be piloted, as appropriate to the relevant genre, and at least one idea per nation or region will be commissioned.

5. Investment in archive rights 

We will increase investment in archive and acquisition rights during this period. This will broaden the range of content available for audiences to enjoy across our services.