Audio Content Fund awards £385k to 20 projects

  • Audio Content Fund issues another £385k of grant funding for new public service content
  • Projects from 19 indies include music radio, drama, docs, sport, and short-form
  • Broadcasters include Times Radio, Fun Kids, Magic, BFBS, U105, KISS and talkSPORT
  • This was the final round of the ACF’s pilot, as the fund moves into an evaluation stage

The Audio Content Fund has announced the recipients of grant funding for 20 more public service radio projects that will be broadcast across commercial and community radio in the UK.

The projects will all be produced by independent production companies, 13 of which are based outside London, with six indies receiving funding from the Audio Content Fund for the first time.

The fund, which is financed by the UK Government, has allocated £385k to the projects, and estimates the content will be heard by 4m listeners.

The bids come with commitments of broadcast on at least 70 different radio stations, with broadcast partners including Absolute Radio, Times Radio, JazzFM, Fun Kids, BFBS, talkSPORT, Magic and a range of community radio stations across the country.

This round – the final one in the original three-year ACF pilot – brings to £3.35m the amount distributed to 91 different independent production companies, to produce 165 projects, which have been heard on at least 350 radio stations.

Helen Boaden, Chair of the Audio Content Fund Panel, said:

“We loved these ideas, which will deliver audiences sharp and original radio. Once again, the Audio Content Fund has been a catalyst for creativity at every level of British radio. ”

Sam Bailey, Managing Director of the Audio Content Fund, said:

“As we reach the end of the ACF Pilot, it’s hugely gratifying to bring our tally of indies to more than 90, and to reflect on how much incredible content the fund has supported. We look forward to working now with DCMS on an evaluation process to determine the future of the Fund, and hope to continue our good work in the near future”.

The 20 new funded projects are:

Sporting Asylum – EatSleep Media, for talkSPORT
A documentary following six sportspeople who left their home country to claim asylum, but have since gone on to sporting achievement.

Absolute Radio Pirates – Unusual Productions, for Absolute Radio 60s
Recreating the sounds and memories of the 1960s pirate radio stations, as a pop up station to mark the 55th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act, something which changed British broadcasting forever, by panning the pirate radio stations so adored by Britain’s youth.

My Life – Mighty Mouth, for Fun Kids
A ten-part series, where children will takeover an hour of radio each week to give other listeners an insight into their lives.  Topics will include home, school, families and hobbies, plus song choices which will reflect their lives, culture, and interests.

Badger and The Blitz – Roxo, for Fun Kids
A ten-part World War II children’s drama based on real events, with themes of loss, compassion and courage. When Jack’s dog and best friend Badger finds her life on the line, he must act fast to save her. The pair journey across war-torn London to find help.

Pride Not Prejudice – The Content Works, for Greatest Hits Network
Series hosted by Holly Johnson, examining and celebrating the influence of the LGBT culture of the 1970s and 1980s on British music. 

Coming Out Out – 7Digital Creative, for KISS
To celebrate Pride Month in June 2022, young people from across the UK tell their coming out stories. The UK’s leading LGBTQ+ podcast duo James Barr and Dan Hudson (from ‘A Gay and a Nongay’) help people tell their stories in big, impactful and fun ways.

London 2012: One Golden Summer, 10 Years On – Mark Shardlow Media, for Times Radio
A shortform series to mark the 10th anniversary of the London Games, speaking to GB’s Gold Medal winners, finding out how the Summer of 2012 changed their lives, and how they’ve used their platform to influence society.

Sixty Years Of Magical Reggae – The Playmaker Group, for Magic and Magic Soul
Four-part series, hosted by Carroll Thompson, marking the 60th anniversary of Jamaican independence, exploring the impact and musical addition of its culture to the UK. From Ska, to Bob Marley, to the music of UK-born artists of Jamaican heritage.

Giant Steps: Intergenerational conversations, across Jazz generations – Reduced Listening, for Jazz FM
Six-part interview series, pairing jazz elders with rising UK musicians, recorded live at The London Jazz Festival. As well as talking, each pair will perform live together, creating a unique legacy of recorded music.

Tomorrow’s Superstars – 11-29 Media, for talkSPORT
Shortform series, marking South Asian Heritage Month, by profiling ten up and coming British Asian athletes, and the people who are shaping their careers.

Belfast: A City Reborn – Yamal Productions, for U105
A five-part series traces the transformation of Belfast from a city under siege to a popular tourist destination, a location for international film production and a growing hi-tech industry centre with a thriving entertainment scene and a vibrant nightlife.

Stormy Weather: Britain’s Coastal Sailing History – Belle Media, for Times Radio and a Community Radio network
An entertaining and informative bilingual series celebrating Britain’s maritime history. From Scotland’s West Coast to the Tidal Thames, the series explores our attachment to the sea through the stories of some of Britain’s best-loved ships. In English on Times Radio and Gaelic on Community Radio.

Hidden In Plain Sight: The story of lost Inverlael – Adventurous Audio, for a Community Radio network
A bilingual series of vibrant and engaging short drama-documentaries telling the story of a lost Highland community. Eight characters from Inverlael are brought back to life to tell us how their lives and livelihoods were decimated through a brutal Highland clearance in 1820. 

BFBS eSports Live – Audio Always, for BFBS
12-part series feeding a passion for gaming and eSports, by uniting passionate gamers with leagues across the Forces, and featuring some of eSports’ biggest stars.

On The Water – Upperhurstdotcom, for a Community Radio network
A series of five half-hour radio documentaries in the tradition of Charles Parker’s Radio Ballads, describing in their own words the experiences of working people who spend their lives on the water.

Toy Boy – Opportunity Knox, for a Community Radio network
A 20-part fictional audio drama written by Anthony KD, about dealing with divorce, and moving on with life.  Toy Boy deals with stigmatised relationship issues for people in urban, multi-cultural communities, including divorce, depression, poverty, morality and tradition.

The Easts – Trevor Dann’s Company, for a Community Radio network
Eight one-off dramas, examining the changes experienced by one family in the East of England across the seven decades since 1952. Broadcast on radio stations throughout East Anglia as part of the week of celebrations marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Butterfly Effect – Smoke Trail Productions, for a Community Radio network
A series of hopeful, sound-rich features bringing inspirational people into the incredible natural world on their doorsteps, then following the positive change that unfolds.

Iron to Iron – Inkslingers Media, for a Community Radio network
Follow Doc series that documents 17 cyclists riding a 6-day, 320-mile route from Devon to Derbyshire, culminating on The Iron Giant – a Grade II listed viaduct in the East Midlands.

Green Wings – Smoke Trail Productions, for National Prison Radio, and a Community Radio network
Taking the Climate Crisis inside British prisons for the first time, revealing the unlikely stories where criminal and climate justice intertwine. Green Wings follows the journeys of six ex-offenders as they seek to put the planet’s and their own mistakes behind them.