Northern Ireland Screen oversees the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund (the ‘USBF’) with an anticipated budget of £1million per annum from 2011 to 2016.
The USBF will provide finance for the production of film, television or other moving image projects relating to the Ulster-Scots heritage, culture and language in Northern Ireland.
The aim of the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund is to ensure that the heritage, culture and language of Ulster-Scots is expressed through moving image. The USBF also aims to foster the Ulster-Scots independent production sector in Northern Ireland and to fund high quality Ulster-Scots cultural TV programmes for a Northern Ireland audience.
The objectives of the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund are outlined below:
- To rise to the delivery of 12 additional hours of Ulster-Scots programming per annum in a range of genres conducive to the delivery of the heritage, culture and language aim.
- Broadcast 90% of the USBF funded programming within 6 months of delivery.
- Reach a significant Northern Ireland audience, primarily but not exclusively through broadcast television, with an initial audience target of 40,000 people in Northern Ireland.
- Achieve high levels of audience satisfaction amongst those within the Northern Ireland audience who express a particular interest in Ulster-Scots.
- Achieve general audience satisfaction levels consistent with those for other local programmes broadcast in Northern Ireland of a similar genre in a similar broadcast slot.
General information on applications to the USBF
- The USBF will organise a minimum of two and a maximum of four funding rounds in 2014/15.
- The need for a third round will be assessed depending on funding available.
- The USBF’s production budget for 2014/15 is £1m.
- Normally production companies must submit applications to the eligible broadcasters in advance of submitting applications to the USBF.
- First funding round 2014/15: Deadline for applications to the USBF is Friday 27th June 2014.
- It is foreseeable that an USBF priority (e.g. with educational material) could be better achieved through a platform of delivery other than an eligible broadcaster. In this case, the production company would apply directly to the USBF without reference to an eligible broadcaster.
- The USBF welcomes applications for development funding. Projects are funded for development on a 50/50 basis by the USBF and the broadcaster, applicant or other funder.
- It should be noted that this is a competitive process in which only the best applications are awarded funding.
- Funding decisions are made by the USBF Investment Committee in line with the following assessment criteria:
The project complies satisfactorily with the Priorities.
Contribution to increased awareness and understanding of Ulster-Scots heritage, culture and/or language.
The quality of the proposal and the audience appeal.
Value for money/maximising the resources within the USBF.
Accessibility within the broadcasters’ schedule/maximising audience access to ensure an audience appropriate for the genre of programme can be reached.
Contribution to the growth and development of the Ulster-Scots independent production sector and infrastructure.
The commitment of match funding and satisfactory evidence that the project is additional to the programming levels already undertaken by the attached broadcaster.