Northern Ireland Screen oversees the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund (the ‘USBF’) with an anticipated budget of £1million per annum from 2020 to 2021.
The USBF provides 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 overarching aim of the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund is to ensure that the heritage, culture and language of Ulster-Scots is expressed through moving image. As a support to the primary aim, the USBF is also open to supporting radio content produced for BBC Radio Ulster; other local commercial stations and/or community radio with assessment based on standard USBF criteria.
The USBF Committee has, with the assistance of an independent evaluation, revised and refined the workings of the USBF. The primary theme of these revisions is to present greater clarity as to the content the USBF wishes to support, and to present a framework that will more effectively ensure the quality and appropriateness of the USBF supported content. USBF Programme Commissioning Guidance provides further information on these revisions including editorial interests/priorities, changes to the USBF’s operation and objectives and targets.
The objectives of the Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund are:
- To deliver 10 additional hours of Ulster-Scots moving image programming per annum in a range of genres conducive to the delivery of the heritage, culture and language aim;
- To include Ulster-Scots Language Programming (including radio programming) to a minimum value of 20% of the available USBF production budget per annum;
- To also deliver Ulster-Scots radio programming to a maximum of 10% of the available USBF production budget per annum;
- To deliver online projects consistent with the aim of the USBF to a maximum of 10% of the available USBF production budget per annum;
- Consistent with the aim of the USBF, the Committee will place a higher priority on projects that have strong links with Ulster-Scots sectoral and community groups;
- To 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;
- To broadcast 90% of the USBF funded programming within 9 months of delivery;
- To reach a significant Northern Ireland audience, primarily but not exclusively through broadcast television, with an average per programme audience target of 40,000 people in Northern Ireland.
Whilst these are yearly objectives and targets it is recognised that on occasion where projects merit, it may be more beneficial to achieving the overarching aim of the USBF to spread targets across a 2 year period.
General information on applications to the USBF
- The USBF will organise a minimum of two and a maximum of four funding rounds in 2020/21. Please refer to the Funding section for further information on call dates.
- Normally production companies must submit applications to the eligible broadcasters in advance of submitting applications to the USBF.