Winter Loneliness Round closes with 31 bids

The Winter Loneliness Round has now closed with 31 bids. We will announce the results in early February.

Original post, published Dec 2020

Audio Content Fund launches urgent funding round, to help combat winter loneliness

The Audio Content Fund has today launched an urgent additional funding round, for content to help combat loneliness this winter.

An additional fund of £300,000 has been made available as part of the UK Government’s commitment to tackle loneliness, with a focus on content to be broadcast before the end of March 2021. The content must address a specific brief to support audiences that might be experiencing loneliness, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The brief for the round, which is for content in any format or genre, outlines that programmes could include ideas that connect listeners with their community, entertain them, combat boredom, support mental health, or help other listeners that want to make a difference.  Content could also more generally support health and wellbeing, help people handle stress, provide companionship, inspire and support creativity and activity, teach people a skill, make people laugh, or provide a form of escapism.

With the deadline to broadcast the content set at 31st March 2021, the Audio Content Fund has set out an ambitious timeline for the funding round, which is open today, and has a deadline of Monday 18th January, with decisions announced at the end of that month.  The urgent round will run alongside the already-open standard funding round, which has been extended by one week, to 25th January.

Welcoming the additional funding, Managing Director of The ACF Sam Bailey said: “Having demonstrated earlier this year how quickly and effectively the UK radio sector was able to mobilise to support its audiences, we are delighted that the UK government has come to us to distribute these funds. We know the audio production sector and our partners at radio stations will rise to the task, despite the need for a quick turnaround. Radio has always been brilliant at companionship, and we look forward to hearing brilliant ideas for demonstrating this under these circumstances that remain difficult for so many people”.

Normal Audio Content Fund conditions and processes apply to the urgent round, including the standard eight evaluation criteria, which can be read in the ACF’s bidding guidelines.  There is an additional content brief attached to the round.

** Update on 18 Jan 2021 – This funding round is now closed **

A commissioning briefing was held on Monday 21st December at 3pm which is available to watch below.