Beloved children’s programmes could disappear from the screen (Picture: Channel 5)
British programming for children could potentially be replaced with imported shows as the government plans to axe the £57million fund on February 25.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) intends to scrap The Young Audiences Content Fund which provided grants to help fund popular programmes for children on ITV, CITV, Channel 5’s Milkshake! and Channel 4.
It also supported 144 development projects and 55 productions, including Teen First Dates, Makeaway Takeaway and The World According The Grandpa.
There has been a lot of criticism received over the decision to shut down the fund and have requested for culture secretary Nadine Dorries to reverse the ‘short-sighted’ ruling.
Anna Home, chair of the Children’s Media Foundation (CMF) campaign group, said: ‘There needs to be public service media for children beyond the BBC, and the pilot proves this is possible.
‘Children need media which is domestic as well as international. Media which reflects their own lives and culture, and where they hear their own voices.
The campaign supported the Channel 4 show Teen First Dates (Picture: Channel 4)
‘A generation of young people denied their own stories will grow up to be a generation with little loyalty for the institutions and values of the society in which they live,’ she added.
The charity also revealed popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus could finance the fund in the future.
A spokesperson for DCMS told Variety: ‘This three-year pilot scheme to test a new way of financing public service TV and radio content will finish in March as intended and we will conduct a full evaluation.
‘We are undertaking a wider review of public service broadcasting to ensure it remains relevant and can continue to meet the needs of UK audiences.
The decision to get rid of popular children’s shows has been met with a lot of resistance (Picture: Channel 5)
‘There are 24 projects in production still to air over the next two years.’
Ms Dorries recently announced that she wanted to find a new funding model for the BBC after the current licence fee funding deal expires in 2027.
She wrote on Twitter: ‘This licence fee announcement will be the last.
‘The days of the elderly being threatened with prison sentences and bailiffs knocking on doors are over.
There are talks that Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus could finance the fund in the future (Picture: Channel 5)
‘Time now to discuss and debate new ways of funding, supporting and selling great British content.’
CMF director Greg Childs stressed there is enough money to keep the fund going for a longer period.
‘The amount the government needlessly clawed back was around 25% of the overall budget for the fund,’ he said.
This could easily keep the fund alive for a further couple of years as the effects of BBC budget cuts are better understood, and as discussions on the future of the television license fee are concluded.’
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