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UK broadcasters back unscripted fund

A group of UK broadcasters, including the BBC and Channel 4, have unveiled a fund aimed at covering crew shortages and skill gaps and diversifying production crew and talent in unscripted TV.

Seetha Kumar

The Beeb and C4 are founding investors in the Unscripted TV Skills Fund along with A+E Networks UK, Sky and Discovery UK.

The fund has been announced in partnership with non-profit organisation ScreenSkills and UK indie producers association Pact. Launched on June 1, it will see training investment in unscripted TV rise from £370,000 (US$510,000) to £3m a year.

The scheme unites and replaces the ScreenSkills TV Skills Fund, which accepted broadcaster donations, and the Indie Training Fund, which took independent contributions.

The BBC and C4 have requested that 100% of their funding contribution goes to causes outside London. All freelancers working in unscripted TV will have access to short training courses via the fund.

Seetha Kumar, CEO of ScreenSkills, said: “The new Unscripted TV Skills Fund sees the industry acting collectively and strategically to address acknowledged skills shortages and to achieve access, and effective progression of an inclusive workforce.

“This is the right thing to do if we are to walk the walk on equal access for crew and talent to support production in all parts of the UK and maintain the standards of excellence for which we are world-renowned.”

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