A coalition of Welsh organizations have come together to launch Kick Start, an initiative offering practical and financial support to Welsh indie prodcos, with a view towards helping them secure international contracts and opportunities for factual programming.
The initiative is backed by Rights TV, S4C Commercial, The Welsh Government and Creative Skillset Cymru.
It will aim to provide practical assistance to Welsh production companies in order to maximise their opportunities at major international markets, such as the Realscreen Summit, MIPCOM and MIPTV, the coalition said.
The scheme, delivered and managed by Rights TV, includes financial investment from S4C Commercial, The Welsh Government and Creative Skillset Cymru’s Skills for the Digital Economy program.
Sion Hughes, Rights TV’s senior business affairs manager, said: “We are really excited about Kick Start and looking forward to starting a program that we believe will act as an important step in significantly boosting Welsh television production for the future.
“In turn, we hope Kick Start will support factual producers who have a long-term strategy and drive them in their ambitions to secure significant international growth.”
The funds provided are intended to help indies employ experienced development staff to drive the creation of a commercially valuable slate of international programming, according to the partners.
In addition to monetary investment, successful applicants will be mentored throughout the process with legal advice from Rights TV and will be offered guidance from a U.S.-based talent agent who will give confidential advice and guidance to the producers.
Applications for Kick Start grants are now being accepted, with 10 grants available in the first year of the scheme. The application process is competitive and assessed by a panel of representatives from the three financial partners.
A maximum of £7,000 (US$11,750) is allocated per project, with 75% of funding being contributed by S4C Commercial, The Welsh Government and Creative Skillset Cymru, and the remaining 25% is to be contributed by applicants.
Edwina Hart, the Welsh government’s minister for economy, science and transport, said: “This program will help Welsh production companies pursue coproduction and commissioning opportunities and exploit new international markets.
“The creative industry sector is very important to the Welsh economy and through schemes like this we are helping to create further growth and jobs within the industry.”