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Indies have been dealt a £1m lifeline from broadcasters seeking to expand the production manager talent pool and promote the role as a viable career.

From this month, indies can access a Production Management Skills Fund to cover at least half of the salaries of a ‘step-up’ role for junior production managers or coordinators to work with senior managers in an additional role on a production.

The pot also applies to people from adjacent industries with transferrable skills, such as theatre or event management, who could take on mid-level production manager, line producer or production co-ordinator roles.

Three of the UK’s public service broadcasters – the BBC, Channel 4, and Channel 5 owner Paramount – are funding the initiative alongside UKTV.

They are investing a combined £1m into the fund over 12 months and will collaborate on outreach and engagement, working with other relevant industry organisations to market production management as a career.

Any indie commissioned by one of the broadcasters will be eligible to apply for the funding, with each broadcaster drawing from its own fund and on their own merit and strategic priority criteria.

Diverse talent, small and medium sized indies, and regional companies will be prioritised where possible and the fund also aims to financially support the production management demands of meeting Covid protocols and the Albert environmental certification.

“Production management is a highly-skilled and vital part of our industry,” said BBC Content chief operating officer David Pembrey. “We want this funding to make a positive difference to productions who we know are managing increased requirements – as well as help develop the next generation of production management talent.” 

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