Independent production companies receive £900,500 boost to create new content

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Six independent Scottish production companies have been awarded £900,500 to create new TV content which includes a crime drama and a wildlife series.

They are the first recipients of Screen Scotland’s rolling £3 million Broadcast Content Fund, which is open to all genres of broadcast content including factual and scripted programming.

The six companies receiving funding are Happy Tramp North, Maramedia, Matchlight, Once Were Farmers, Pirate Productions and Very Nice.

Inverness-based Happy Tramp North’s £500,000 funding is supporting the production of the new, Edinburgh set, four-part BBC crime drama series, Guilt, which will premiere on the new BBC Scotland channel – its first original drama commission – and follow on BBC Two later this year.

Neil Webster, Managing Director at Happy Tramp North, said: “We’re over the moon to be one of the first recipients of Screen Scotland’s Broadcast Fund.

“Guilt is an ambitious, contemporary drama and the Broadcast Fund has been crucial in allowing us to bring the vision of the show to life. Screen Scotland’s understanding and help throughout the process has been invaluable and we hope this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship.”

Wildlife TV specialists Maramedia have received £118,500 to produce Stormborn, a new three-part series exploring wildlife in the North Atlantic, to be broadcast on BBC Scotland.

Isabel Davis, executive director at Screen Scotland said: “Creating the right conditions for Scotland’s independent film and television producers and companies to grow is essential, if we are to help them achieve the recognition they deserve and drive their economic and creative success.

“We’ve been inspired by the quality and range of work coming to us for support, and encouraged that the fund is making a real difference: be it creating the opportunity for producers to acquire exciting intellectual property, increase the resources to develop content, or enable important Scottish stories of scale to get into production.”

Stirling-based production company and animation studio Once Were Farmers have received £50,000 towards developing the TV adaptation of The Adventures of Honey And Leon, the debut children’s book series by Alan Cumming which is illustrated by his husband Grant Shaffer.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh-based Pirate Productions have received £32,000 to develop a TV adaptation of Sally Andrew’s novel Recipes For Love And Murder.

Slate funding of £100,000 for the development of a range of programme ideas to bring to market has been awarded to Glasgow’s Matchlight, and to entertainment specialists Very Nice.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP said: “Having met so many skilled individuals operating in Scotland, I know from first-hand experience that we have the talent and the opportunity to grow our TV sector.

“This funding of up to £500,000 per project will enrich our vibrant broadcast production sector by providing the targeted financial backing it needs to develop.

“It will also help attract, retain and develop talent and businesses in Scotland and I look forward to seeing the productions made possible by this enhanced funding.”

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