Changing Channels: Commissioner Conversation with the Celtic Commissioners – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 7:06am by Heather McDaid

WP_20150702_018Funding is a vital part of the media industry, finding someone to support or work with in order to bring your vision to life, but it’s not always easy to know how. The panel members Grainne McGuinness, Pauline MacNamara, Margaret Cameron and Sioned Wyn Roberts came to chat through funding options in Ireland, Scotland and Wales respectively.

“Budgets are falling, but they expect outputs to remain the same.” It’s a sad truth, but the one positive to take is that content will always be needed. This is just an overview of the funding and grants discussed:

Sioned Wyn Roberts – S4C:

  • S4C Children’s commissioning. Two age groups, pre-school service and 7-13 year olds. Uusually around 2-3 co-production projects per year and 7-8 acquisitions.
  • S4C Commercial funds for co-production projects. S4C’s commercial arm invest in a range of projects – investments made on a commercial basis.
  • For Digital Projects. Open to any digital products, they do not need to be a TV commission and can be a standalone product. Applications for up to £150k are invited.
  • For Commercial Development projects. Commercial arm is interested in new ventures and can invest in a wide range of projects.

Margaret Cameron – BBC Alba:

  • BBC Alba commissions (under long term deals) 65-70 hours per annum, which is a mix of original programming, acquisitions and co-pros.
  • Two commissioning rounds advertised on com, announced Oct for Jan decisions and April for June.
  • The other main source of funding is Creative Scotland.

Pauline Macnamara – RTÉ:

  • Commissions into two channels – one for under 7s, one 7-15 year olds.
  • Combination of 100% commissions, co-productions and grand funded for each channel.
  • Co-fund 3-4 animations annually.
  • Budgets vary from £52k to £95k per hour in live action.

The process of applying for these funds might be a little hellish, some coming with vast paperwork, but if you need motivation, Gráinne McGuinness has it: “The bottom line is that it’s worth it if you want to get your show made.”

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Heather  McDaid

About the author

Heather McDaid

Society of Young Publishers Scotland, Blogger & Social Media

Heather is a freelance culture writer, book blogger and Publishing Masters student, currently assisting some publishers with marketing and editorial work. After completing her dissertation later this Summer she is keen to continue full-time in the field, looking to pursue a career in publishing in Scotland. She joined the Society… Read more