The UK government’s £44M ($60M) Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF), which has gone some way to addressing steep declines in the nation’s commercial children’s TV market, is to wind down next month.
The BFI, which operated the fund, had hoped it would be extended beyond its three years but the government has said no more funding will be made available. The money for the fund was drawn from unallocated BBC licence fee income but the BBC is currently facing its own financial troubles.
Launching in 2019 and run by former BBC Children’s exec Jackie Edwards, the YACF supported 55 shows into production including the likes of Channel 4 spin-off Teen First Dates, CITV’s Makeaway Takeaway and Channel 5 strand Milkshake!’s The World According to Grandpa.
It supported 144 development projects and helped niche channels such as BBC Alba and S4C get shows off the ground.
Producers have been invited to submit their final applications by February 25.
In a statement today, the BFI said the fund had “given young people all over the UK the opportunity to watch and engage with original UK programming on free-to-access, regulated platforms, reflecting their lives, hopes and fears, and educating, entertaining and inspiring them.”
It pointed to other successes such as support provided to young people during lockdown.
The fund was launched to address declines in the UK’s commercial children’s TV market, which saw spend dip heavily after junk food advertising was banned during these shows in the mid-noughties.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.