Audio Content Fund announces winners for new UK radio and DAB programs

We’ve heard about podcast programming outreaches from PRX, Google, and Radio Public that reward winning proposals with funding for new on-demand audio programs. From the UK come the winning results of the Audio Content Fund, a funding program for new radio programs. Some of the winning shows are targeted for DAB exclusively.

Nine winning projects are slated to receive a total of 234.000 GBP funding. The new shows include a soap opera for kids, discussions on men’s mental health, a focus on infertility, life-changing songs, and more. All the content is scheduled, and will air within 12 months.

The Audio Content Fund is a pilot scheme supporting public service content on commercial and community radio networks, funded by a grant of up to £3m from the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Helen Boaden is chair of the funding panel. “The Panel was delighted by the richness and range of the winning bids and can’t wait to hear the final results. We’re looking forward to stations across the UK working closely with Indies on great new ideas which grab their audiences with unexpected and entertaining

This first round received 50 applications. Of the nine winners, four come from London-based production companies, the other five from out-of-city houses.

The Winners

The Space Programme – Bafflegab Productions, for Fun Kids

20x 10min episodes, weekly on Friday afternoons, with three weekly repeats
National DAB station

A gripping new soap opera for children, in which a tiny island in the Irish Sea is
surprised to find itself the base for a new space programme. When two tech
entrepreneurs announce their plan to make one of the local kids the world’s
first child astronaut, nothing is ever the same again.

Minds Over Matter – Whistledown Productions, for Union Jack

2x 2hr programmes on adjacent Saturdays, and 20x 3min packages
throughout the week. National DAB Station

A week-long focus on male mental health, explored through live music and
comedy. Starting with a live music concert and ending with a live comedy gig,
with high profile interview packages throughout the week, the campaign will
be in partnership with the Men In Sheds Network.

Patches of Land – Stellaria Media, for a network of 5 community radio

100x 2min packages, broadcast at various times

Partnership of 5x Community Radio Stations on FM in Devon and Cornwall
Exquisitely small radio features, each one a different perspective on our
relationship with the land throughout Devon and Cornwall. Audio ‘patches’
that can be broadcast in isolation, or compiled together into longer formats.
Featuring the voices of the people of Devon and Cornwall, captured through
informal conversations, personal testimonies and field recordings.

The XS Manchester Music Tour – 2ZY Ltd, for XS Manchester

10x 3hr live radio shows, weekly on Friday afternoons

Local FM and DAB+ station in Greater Manchester

A series of ten outside broadcasts, one from each Greater Manchester
borough, celebrating the past, present and future of Manchester Music and
the social history of the area. Fronted by Inspiral Carpets keyboard player
Clint Boon, with a diverse range of guests and listener contributions.

Open Forum – Reform Radio, for Gaydio

5x 60min programmes, monthly on Sunday mornings

Community station on FM in Manchester and Brighton, and on DAB in six
major cities

‘Radio Ballads’ covering a range of social issues, crafted from workshop
recordings of young people aged 16-25, including live performances of spoken
word, rap, storytelling, music and other artistic material. An innovative and
unique series of crafted explorations of issues impacting young adults.

Oranges At Half-Time – We Are Unedited, for talkSPORT

40x 60min programmes, weekly on Thursday evenings for the 2019-2020
football season. National AM and DAB Station

A roundtable football discussion show, presented by a trio of new presenters
from a BAME background, with a guest host each week. Issues will include
ticket prices, transfer gossip, racism, tactics, homophobia, football shirts or
gender equality. Guests on the show will come from underserved and
underrepresented audiences.

Young and Cool: A Brief History of Country – Made In Manchester, for
Downtown Radio

1x 60min programme, on a Sunday evening. Local station on FM (and DAB sister-station), covering all of Northern Ireland

Documentary examining the current great renaissance in country music, told
through the passion of a new, young, first-time radio presenter. The host
(selected with help from the Bauer Academy), will explore what it takes to
make a country hit, by interviewing writers, performers and label bosses.

The Songs That Saved Me – TBI Media, for Absolute Radio

48x 5min episodes, weekday evenings for 12wks, overnight repeats and
weekly compilations. National AM and DAB station, with FM in London

A short-form series, where musicians and personalities open up in frank
conversations about mental health and wellbeing. Guests introduce four
tracks that helped them through tough times, prompting further discussion
with listeners sharing their experiences.

The F Word – TBI Media, for The Magic Radio Network

25x 2min packages, all broadcast in one week, plus 1x 2hr special on Saturday
Network of 4x national DAB Stations, with FM in London

A 6-day campaign, challenging the taboos and debunking the myths around
fertility problems – an issue affecting 1 in 7 couples in the UK. Across each day,
short-form packages will tell the real-life stories of couples with experiences
from IVF to surrogacy, whilst providing insight and advice from experts
including medical professionals, advisors and charities. A 2hr music show with
high-profile guests will round off the week.


Brad Hill