Report – The YACF – A User’s Guide
Changemaker Euella Jackson opened the session with a discussion of her journey, and an important question: what can you be doing to inspire change?
The Young Audiences Content Fund is a pilot which launched in April 2019. Content makers and producers have the opportunity to access funds to support the creation of distinctive and high-quality content for children. The pilot for the fund is due to last three years and has £57 million available to support development and production.
- Apply sooner rather than later! – Funding will be split between the three years, offering around £18m per year
- Read more about the fund on the BFI website: https://www.bfi.org.uk/supporting-uk-film/production-development-funding/young-audiences-content-fund
Jackie Edwards discussed what the fund is, describing it as a gift to producers from the government that will help to diversify the landscape of children’s television in the UK. For a long time, there have been limited opportunities for a limited number of players. Rightly, Jackie also observed that this fund has been designed to give opportunities to new creators and voices who may not have been heard before.
Speaking as the fund’s development executive, Harriet Williams highlighted that an application to the fund is the beginning of a conversation with the YACF team, and that they are seeking to help as many producers as possible. Harriet mentioned that the development fund team will encourage discussions with broadcasters to shape the potential of the future project.
The fund is also about supporting great content, said fund production executive John Knowles. Something that can be done by welcoming new voices into the industry. John encouraged getting applications in to the fund sooner rather than later, as the funding will be split between the three years, offering around £18m per year.
Some top tips for the fund were discussed and Jackie emphasised that producers should read the guidelines carefully before applying. Harriet stressed the importance of uploading the development budget and include details. John urged the session attendees, “don’t despair”, as the whole team will encourage you to talk to them and get an idea of where in the landscape your project fits.
When asked what element of their job makes the panel ‘get up and go’ in the morning, the answers were humbling. For John, he remarked that it is a privilege to make the inspirational content that kids deserve. Harriet loved knowing that should the perfect project come through the door, they can say yes and find some way to offer support. Jackie echoed John’s answer, and said she felt privileged to have worked in kids’ TV and now present an opportunity for the industry to create a cultural conversation about the importance of Children’s TV in their lives.
TV can inspire children for the rest of their lives – and it’s that type of positivity that gets her up in the morning.
Head of BFI YACF
YACF Production Executive
YACF Development Executive
Red & Blue Productions
Children’s Media Consultant
Presenter and Creative Producer