Radiocentre and the Radio Independents Group have come together to welcome a new scheme aimed at supporting public service programming on radio and television.
The contestable fund for public service broadcasting (PSB) was announced in 2016 as part of BBC Charter Review, with initial funding of £60m to support a pilot phase over 2 to 3 years. The Government has been considering views on the detailed implementation of the scheme as part of a consultation that closed on 14 February 2017.
Radiocentre and RIG have submitted detailed responses to the consultation, supporting the proposal to allow funding of radio content to be considered as well as for television.
As part of their responses, both organisations highlighted the excellent value for money that would be achieved by funding radio content, the extensive reach of commercial radio across the country, and appetite for public service content. PSB funding could also provide a significant boost to radio producers based outside of London.
Radiocentre CEO, Siobhan Kenny, said: “In a multi-platform world there is a compelling case for opening up this funding scheme to radio – and it is encouraging that the Government agrees. Commercial radio stations are always looking at new ways to serve their listeners, but sometimes the financial reality makes it difficult to do everything they would like. This scheme has the potential to provide a real boost in public service output on UK radio.”
RIG Managing Director, Will Jackson, added: “Audio indies from around the UK are keen to apply their excellent track record of producing award-winning public service content to work more with commercial radio. Indies have been developing new relationships with a range of players, and including radio in the contestable fund can help build an appetite for more PSB in the commercial sector and elsewhere. Together we can innovate and take more risks on content for underserved genres, for the benefit of the UK audience.”