Wales, NI, and LGBT programming in latest ACF Awards

  • Projects in Northern Ireland and South Wales, plus content marking LGBT Pride
  • 25 projects now funded, with £370k awarded in this round

The Audio Content Fund has today announced the latest grants to be awarded in its special funding round to support audiences during Coronavirus restrictions, which closed for bids earlier today.

The fund, which is financed by the UK Government, launched a special rolling round last month following discussions between Radiocentre, AudioUK, and DCMS. Its allocated budget was recently increased to a maximum of £400,000, and this latest content brings to 25 the total number of projects funded, with £369,964 now awarded.

From amongst the latest successful projects, The Foghorn Company will produce a series of LOCKDOWN LOVE LETTERS on a network of radio stations in Northern Ireland.  Key-workers and their families will send letters of appreciation to each other, crafted into beautiful soundscapes and voiced by well-known actors, for broadcast on Q Radio, Lisburn FM, Bangor FM, and Down Community Radio.

The absence of large-scale Pride events across the country will be felt significantly by the UK’s LGBT community – something which UK RADIO PRIDE seeks to address, with 14 hours of special programming on Gaydio, Pride FM and Juice FM produced by 2ZY Ltd. The three stations will come together for a programme of live music, mixes, debate, comedy, profiles and remembrance, which will also be packaged up into a 1hr highlights programme and made available to all community radio stations around the country.

The disabled and visually-impaired community of South Wales will be given a voice by Sixteen Media, for their project UNHEARD VOICES, broadcasting on a radio network in the Rhondda Valley. Five-minute profiles of how blind people and people with mobility impairments are getting through the lockdown will be shared by BRO Radio, GTFM, and Rhondda Radio.

All projects will be produced safely and in-line with government guidelines, and most will start broadcasting in the next two weeks. 

The special coronavirus support funding round is now closed, with the panel due to review its final bids this week.  They will then turn their attention to our standard funding round which closed in April.

Lockdown Love Letters – The Foghorn Company
13x 5mins, at various times in May, on Q Radio, Bangor FM, Lisburn FM, Down Community Radio

NHS staff, key workers, people in hospital and homes, and families unable to see and touch loved ones send letters of love and appreciation to each other narrated by well-known actors/celebrity voices. Each letter will be mixed with music and atmospheres from some of the favourite places we are currently excluded from – famous natural beauty spots, sonically familiar city places, museums and theatres, each accompanied by a piece of music or song or that looks both backwards and forwards to happier times.

Unheard Voices – Sixteen Media
15x 5mins, broadcast at various times in May and June, on BRO Radio, GTFM, and Rhondda Radio

As we respond to the latest announcements on lockdown, we find out what it means for those living with disabilities. In five-minute profiles this strand will tell the stories of a community of people in South Wales whose voices are not often heard, yet they have so much to talk about.   Wales is known for a wealth of warm characters who have inspired generations of poetry and comedy from Under Milk Wood to Gavin and Stacey; this is a chance to hear uplifting stories as well as those that pull on the heart strings at the most testing of times, told with a heart full of Welsh humour.

UK Radio Pride – 2ZY Ltd
14x 1hrs, broadcast in June and July 2020, on Gaydio, Pride FM, and Juice FM, with a 1hr highlights programme being made available to all community radio stations that want to broadcast it.

UK Radio Pride is a broadcast series that responds to the significant number of Pride events cancelled due to COVID-19. Pride events play a key role in uniting and empowering marginalised LGBT+ people; they offer a platform to LGBT+ performers; they allow community support groups to connect with those in need. They are a celebration and a protest. UK Radio Pride will engage listeners through a series of broadcast events including live music, debates, comedy, community-led profiles, DJ mixes and remembrance.