The under pressure UK production world has been given a huge boost with the news that UK pay-TV juggernaut Sky is to increase further its investment in commissioning and producing home-grown programmes.

In a speech to an industry think tank, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch claimed that Sky was one of Britain's biggest supporters of home-grown content and announced that over the next three years the broadcaster would grow its investment in the origination and production of British programming British content from 380 million a year to 600 million a year.

This figure includes investment by Sky in commissioning programmes from the UK's independent production sector as well as Sky's own in-house productions in arts, entertainment, news and sport.

Sky has enjoyed success of late with UK-produced dramas such as the BAFTA-winning factual documentary Flying Monsters 3D, Mad Dogs, Thorne, Little Crackers, In Confidence and arts programming such as Lucrezia Borgia , the world's first live opera in 3D.

The added investment will go to produce more original drama, more original comedy and more original arts. In particular, the next three years will see a 300% increase in Sky's hours of original British drama including a new series from leading British playwright Paul Abbott, a new series of Mad Dogs, the second series of HBO co-production Strikeback , and the first feature-length commission for Sky Movies, Neverland , starring Anna Friel, Rhys Ifans and Bob Hoskins. Sky is also committing to tripling the programme budget for the Sky Arts channels, which it claims is watched by more than two million viewers each month.

Explaining the rationale for the added investment Darroch said: Home-grown content resonates strongly and we believe we can both bring more quality and value to existing customers, while also reaching out to more people who haven't yet chosen pay-TV. Our plans will take our original entertainment to an entirely different scale, complementing our existing strengths in sport, movies and news. They will mean working with the best production, writing and acting talent and will require focus and creative ambition as well as sustained financial investment.