BBC names 13 companies getting a share of £250,000 Radio Indie Development Fund

The independent radio production companies selected for the latest BBC Radio Indie Development Fund have been announced.

The £250,000 fund is designed to help indies develop certain areas of their work, supporting the BBC’s priorities.

The production companies come from each of the four nations of the UK, with the majority receiving funding for the first time.

Successful applicants receive a one-year investment of between £10-£25k, and the funding will go towards a variety of areas, ranging from increasing and diversifying the talent pool to boosting production capabilities and training. They are also allocated a mentor who they will work with to agree objectives and meet regularly for support and guidance.

For music radio, three of the indies are based in the Midlands, with True Thought and Glenvale receiving funding for the second year. As the BBC Asian Network and BBC Radio 1Xtra increase their presence in Birmingham, Glenvale will continue its relationship with the Asian Network after a successful first year and use the fund to set up a talent pool of assistant producers.

Having partnered with BBC Sounds last year, True Thought will this year work with Midlands universities to recruit trainee production talent and partner with Radio 1Xtra to generate ideas to reflect the Midlands music scene.

Moving Water Media received funding towards employing a local assistant producer to help develop fresh editorial ideas as well as invest in production equipment.

Kully Ghataore, Moving Water Media, says: “The Midlands is a thriving hub of talent, and as a production company based in the region, we are grateful to have secured funding that will fuel our growth as an independent entity. This support will undoubtedly contribute to our journey in bringing creative visions to life.”

Lorna Clarke, BBC Director of Music says: “As more of our content comes from Birmingham, Cardiff and Salford, it’s great to be working with these brilliant local indies to boost the production capabilities in the areas, and at the same time supporting the BBC’s key priorities around diversity and our Across the UK plans.”

For music, the recipients are:

  • Glenvale Media – Birmingham
  • True Thought Production – Birmingham
  • Moving Water Media – Wolverhampton
  • Unedited – London
  • Overcoat Media – Cardiff
  • Reform Radio – Manchester

For speech, recipients are:

  • Bespoken Media – Edinburgh
  • The Foghorn Productions – Belfast
  • Little Wander – Brecon
  • Hill 5.14 Media – Bedfordshire
  • Essential Radio – London
  • Bite Your Tongue Productions – Bristol
  • Bengo Media – Cardiff

For speech audio, all recipients are new to the fund. They’re based in all the four nations of the UK and will be working with BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live.

Bespoken Media, based in Edinburgh, will hire a trainee producer for 12 months to help build and service a pipeline of talent from Scotland.

Dave Howard, Bespoken Media says: “Bespoken Media is committed to helping to build a strong, inclusive and flourishing audio production community in Scotland. This support, financially but more importantly in terms of creative mentorship from Radio 4’s commissioning team, will go a long way to helping us to do that. We look forward to getting started!”

Mohit Bakaya, BBC Director of Speech says: “We specifically wanted ideas that would help us build up the pool of diverse new talent to bring us great stories from all corners of the UK. We had an impressive set of submissions, and we are looking forward to working with this year’s recipients as part of our plans to make BBC’s speech radio more representative of the country as a whole.”