Animation UK was launched at a reception at 10 Downing Street in December 2016. The first Animation UK Council in its new guise met in January 2017 and since then, it’s been quite a year.
The need to set up a more formal and membership-funded body predated the referendum but the need for a specific voice in the sector gathered more urgency, following the Brexit decision. Shaping the right business conditions for animation companies, studios, distributors and service providers was our first priority; also important was the opportunity of presenting our views on a new Contestable Fund, one that had been fully supported by leading figures in the animation industry prior to that point.
The announcement that the Contestable Fund will be going ahead (2019-2021), with £60 million primarily targeted at Children’s content was extremely welcome news over the New Year.
The BFI will be the host organisation and will work with DCMS and the sector to answer key management and operational questions and look at the funding criteria. Animation UK will be there to inform, influence and shape these discussions.
To regulate or not to regulate…
Running alongside the on-going debate on a Contestable Fund has been the lobby for regulation, aimed at reversing the decline in children’s content overall on the UK’s Public Service Broadcasting channels.
Ofcom’s Children’s review has followed a campaign led by Save Children’s Content and supported by all of the key industry organisations. The Digital Economy Act in April provided a real opportunity for Ofcom to set out meaningful and measurable regulatory interventions. Animation UK has set out its position and our view is that the combination of the new fund and workable regulation (with clear commitments from the PSBs to investing in UK originated UK content) is necessary. This, along with the Animation Tax Relief, secured by Animation UK, will provide the conditions for growth and much-needed new content for children of all ages.
On our members’ behalf, Animation UK is across all agendas, making the case for animation to be at the heart of these policy debates in the year ahead.