Broadcasting sector set to receive funding boost next year
18 October 2009 By Samantha McCaughren

The independent broadcasting sector is to get a funding boost next year, with an increase in the broadcasting fund to more than €14 million a year. The fund, which is on offer to independent producers, currently stands at €10.5million.

The plan for the revised scheme has gone to the European Commission for approval, in order to ensure it complies with state aid and competition r u les. Programmes airing on TV3, independent radio and RTE are eligible for the fund, officially known as the Sound and Vision scheme, which is funded by a portion of the TV licence fee.

The new Broadcasting Act allowed for the percentage paid to the fund to increase from 5 per cent annually to 7 per cent.

To date, €60 million has been dispersed through the fund by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. The newly-established Broadcasting Authority will continue to administer the scheme. The scheme offers funding for various genres of programming, including documentaries, children’s programming and feature film production.

Previous projects which received funding from the scheme include the films Kings, Garage and 32A, as well as kids’ TV series Aifric.

Applications are currently being sought for the ninth funding round of the Sound and Vision scheme for radio projects. Eligible programmes must deal with the themes of Irish culture, heritage and experience, or seek to improve adult literacy.