Producers in the North of England will get the chance to secure up to £1m (US$1.6m) in format funding from a creative partnership including the BBC and Channel 4.
Funding packages of between £10,000 and £150,000 are being made available to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the Digital Fiction Factory (DFF), a commissioning partnership of the BBC, C4 and Liverpool indie Conker Media.
Successful applicants will develop formats for both the BBC and C4, which can then decide whether to make full commissions. This marks one of the few times the two public broadcasters have worked together on a cross-commissioning project.
Each project will be jointly owned by the DFF and the SME in question, a set-up that will allow the latter to exploit the rights abroad and maximise potential revenue.
Jim Famery, director of business development at Creative England, the funding agency behind the move, said it represented an “innovative new business model whereby the SMEs we support can really get back what they put into the projects.”
The DFF is the second element of Creative England’s £5m Regional Growth Fund, which was announced in April. The first was the £1m Business Investment Fund, unveiled last week.
Around 244 business in England’s North-West, Yorkshire and North-East regions were signed up to the DFF at the time of writing.
Creative England said it expects to release details of further investment in the games and animation industries within three months. The news comes after the UK government announced plans to introduce tax break schemes next year.