U.K. broadcaster ITV has announced a £500,000 ($616,000) development fund targeted at the independent sector to help producers during the coronavirus lockdown.
ITV said the fund, unveiled Monday by director of television Kevin Lygo, is designed to accelerate the search for new ideas and content, particularly in non-scripted, for the channel in the latter part of 2020 and into 2021.
Lygo said: “ITV’s success is based on the ideas that are brought to us by indies from across the U.K. and we don’t want that to stop.We have this money specifically available to ramp up development over the next few months so we can hit the ground running when current restrictions are lifted.”
Lygo explained that ITV’s commissioning teams will increase the number of virtual meetings they have to build up a slate over the next few months. “If you have an idea for us, especially in the unscripted space, we are in a position to help fund that immediately.”
Lygo added: “We want to reassure the indie community — small or big, regional or London — that ITV is very much open for business and we have the resource to invest in ideas for the channel.”
News of ITV’s initiative came within hours of the BBC announcing a five-point plan to help bolster the struggling independent production sector.
British producers, like their counterparts worldwide, have been hard hit amid delayed and canceled shoots caused by the coronavirus crisis.
The BBC’s measures also included additional funding for development.