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Boosting Our Economy - Celebrating Our Culture - Enhancing Our Children's Education

Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund


250th Anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence in 2026

Development Call

The Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund is seeking no more than a one-page proposal around the 250th anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence in 2026.

Proposals must be written with an American and/or network audience in mind. We would like to see ambitious, innovative and thought-provoking ideas in any genre telling the often overlooked and under-represented story of the Ulster-Scots/Scotch-Irish in this period of history.

Please submit your one-page proposals to [email protected] by 5pm on Friday 8th March 2024.

Proposals will be shortlisted and successful companies invited to apply for development funding commensurate with the project’s scale, ambition and intended reach.


On 4th July 2026, the USA will mark the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This pivotal moment in history was largely driven by the Founding Fathers of the United States, many of whom were of Ulster-Scots/Scotch-Irish descent.

These emigrants first arrived in America in the 18th and 19th centuries and went on to play leading roles in the foundation of many of the USA’s key institutions and areas encompassing politics, industry, banking, architecture, engineering and commerce. Their influence also spread to cultural endeavours with many famous Ulster-Scots people making significant contributions to the fields of music, literature, acting and art. Alongside their successful endeavours, the early Scotch-Irish people in America lived in a time of slave ownership which provides challenges and opportunities in telling their broader story in an honest and uncompromising way.

With all this in mind, we strongly encourage engagement with an Ulster-Scots Consultant to shape your ideas and deliver an accurate and authoritative account of the subject.


The 250th anniversary directly connects with the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund’s remit to reflect Ulster-Scots heritage, culture and language. Your proposal needs to succinctly explain why the story of the Ulster-Scots/Scotch-Irish is significant to the story of the foundation and development of the USA in this upcoming anniversary year.


To mark the role of the Ulster-Scots in the founding and development of the United States of America, the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund is seeking to support development for landmark documentaries or series reflecting this anniversary. This can encompass any genre of storytelling and could also be multiplatform, including a digital element.

The intended UK network and American audience is key to the development of your project. Think about how similar stories are told both nationally and internationally in terms of scale, talent and technology. Consider key on and off-screen talent and how it would appeal to a network and/or American broadcaster or streamer.

Do you have a fresh and insightful angle on this story? Can you bring talent to the project – on-screen and/or off? Do you have the vision to utilise technology to deliver a really groundbreaking programme or series? We are not looking for a programme or series for a local audience covering ground already explored in this subject.


This stage of development does not require a broadcaster to be attached. This is to allow the focus to be exclusively on the treatment and to avoid unintentionally locking out the international audience we seek to reach.


If you would like to talk about your idea or discuss the use of an Ulster-Scots Consultant at this stage, please contact Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund Executive Heidi McAlpin, [email protected].

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