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Helen Boaden to chair Audio Content Fund panel

The Audio Content Fund is a new scheme to provide funding for original radio and audio production

Helen Boaden has been announced as the chair of the Funding Panel of the new Audio Content Fund, which is supported by a grant of up to £3 million from the UK government’s department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 

The Audio Content Fund is a new scheme to provide funding for original radio and audio production. In 2019 the Fund will accept applications from audio production companies planning to make content for UK radio broadcasters.

Boaden, who until 2017 was director of BBC Radio, and afterwards completed a fellowship on journalism at the Shorenstein Center in Harvard, is joined on the Panel by John Myers, Mukti Jain Campion and Kate Cocker. The Panel will assess bids for funding, working closely with managing director Sam Bailey, who will formally begin working as of April 2019.

John Myers has a strong background in commercial radio that spans 35 years, he is a past chair of the Radio Academy and the Sony Awards and was the founder of the 30 Under 30 list, while Mukti Jain Campion is a highly-respected former independent producer and founder of the indie company Culture Wise that produces documentaries and features for BBC Radio. Kate Cocker is a multi-talented Manchester-based radio expert who currently works as a consultant. The Panel will be supported by a range of additional experts to be appointed, including advisors for the Nations.

The Fund has also published official guidelines for those seeking to bid for funding, which can be found here. The guidelines add detail on timelines; how to meet the eight criteria set out by the Government; and more information on how to construct bids for UK indigenous languages and community radio. Independent production companies will need to formulate bids and obtain a guarantee of broadcast from an Ofcom-licensed radio station.

Helen Boaden said: “I’m delighted and honoured to have been asked to chair the Funding Panel for the new Audio Content Fund. It’s an exciting new project with huge potential. I am looking forward to working with John, Mukti and Kate in assessing the various bids. Given the extraordinary interest in the Fund, I expect that we’ll have our work cut out for us over the coming months.”

Will Jackson, a director of the Audio Content Fund, stated: “We’re very pleased to be able to announce such a strong list of names for our Panel, who will bring to bear their extensive knowledge and experience from across the industry. The Fund has already created much excitement in the radio broadcast and independent production sectors, and we hope the guidance will answer many questions from those seeking to bid for funding.”

Siobhan Kenny, another director of the Audio Content Fund, commented: “Helen will be a wonderful chair of the Funding Panel. We are fortunate to have secured her support and that of such a talented and experienced team. Their help and advice will be invaluable in establishing the Audio Content Fund as a source of funding for innovative new public service radio programming”.

For more information, please visit the Audio Content Fund website.