UK government announces £60m fund for children’s television from 2019

British pubic broadcasters now have their work cut out for them to combat increased competition from Netflix and Youtube

UNDATED - Teletubbies dolls are photographed in this undated picture. (Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images, BA)

The government has launched a £60m fund to aid the production of children’s television programmes in Britain, amid growing concerns that the younger generations are becoming increasingly reliant on foreign imports.

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Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, said the money would come from unallocated funds from the 2010 license fee settlement, and that it would help to cover almost half of the production and distribution costs of original British children’s programming.

It will be distributed across a three year period from 2019.

“High-quality children’s television is not only entertaining but plays a vital role in stimulating learning and giving young people a greater understanding of the world around them,” Bradley said. “This significant investment will give our world-renowned television production sector the boost it needs to create innovative content for a wider audience that would otherwise not be made.”

In April, the Digital Economy Act gave media regulator Ofcom the power to encourage broadcasters to put more cash into British-made children’s productions, an area that the watchdog has identified as in decline.

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So far, it’s working: In July, the BBC announced its plans to re-invent its services for a “new generation”, which includes a £34m investment in children’s programming across 2019-20, with an eye to combatting increasing competition from global powerhouses such as Netflix, Youtube and Amazon.