BBC Puts Up £1 Million in Development Spend to Support Indies


The BBC has unveiled a new package of support for small and emerging indies in an effort to bolster the U.K.’s production sector in the face of global competition and producer consolidation.

The BBC is dedicating £1 million ($1.3 million) in development spend to a Small Indie Fund to support small and emerging companies (with turnovers of less than £10 million [$13 million] per year). The broadcaster plans to identify talented small indies who can deliver to its strategy, and tailor support packages to help them grow. For indies that show real promise, the BBC will fast-track them with a commissioning mentor, development deal and targeted commissioning opportunities. Commissioners responsible for out of London will have priority access to this funding, and production companies with diverse leadership will also be prioritized for support.

The idea is to offer bespoke deal arrangements, shaped to match company need. These will vary depending on the risk profile of the genre, company and the show, but could include tailored cash flow terms, shared risk arrangements agreed on upfront and help to secure third-party investment.

There will also be tailored events to forge stronger ties between emerging small companies and the BBC, including an event to introduce new companies to the BBC commissioning teams and learn about how the broadcaster works, as well as smaller gatherings to discuss specific issues.

Charlotte Moore, director of content, said: “We’ve listened to the sector and understand the pressures small indies face in this fast-changing global landscape. Small indies are a vital part of the U.K.’s creative industry and crucially deliver content that speaks to British audiences. We recognize how valuable they are to the ecology and this additional support will enable them to compete more effectively.”