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Tax breaks proposed for UK kids producers

Pact, the UK’s indie producers alliance, is proposing the introduction of tax breaks for kids TV producers in a bid to fill the funding gap in the struggling sector.

The industry body has revealed plans for a Children’s Content Credit (CCC) scheme that could make up a minimum of 30% of the production costs on projects with public service value.

The funding would target areas of core public service content for children that are suffering the worst shortfall, such as drama and factual content for 5-12s.

But the content, which must have been greenlit by a broadcaster to become eligible for funding, must also pass a ‘cultural test’. Criteria include the use production facilities and staff in the UK, the level of UK subject matter and the show’s contribution to cultural diversity and creativity.

The funding would only be available on production spend in the UK and will also be available to new media content. But a ‘sunset clause’ has been built in which expires in 2012 or as soon as larger scale intervention is introduced.

In addition, it won’t be made available to BBC commissions, both in-house and from the indie sector. Pact cites the fact that “as non-BBC investment has collapsed, encouraging other channels to increase provision is key to offering plurality in public service content.”

Pact will now refine the details of the proposal by consulting with the industry before taking it to the government after a review into children’s programming by Ofcom is published on October 3.

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