A fund worth £750k has been launched by Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise to help Scottish screen based businesses grow in scale.

The pilot project, FOCUS, will provide “expert sector-specific business support” for production companies that are not of the scale where business development and support functions can be afforded in-house.

In the initial pilot phase, twenty screen companies will each work with a business development consultant to create a development strategy for their company. Expertise will be offered in areas such as digital distribution, aggregation, financing, international co-production, and audience development.

Participating companies will have to contribute one third of the costs of the consultancy themselves, with the remaining costs covered by FOCUS, which is co-funded by Creative Scotland and Scottish Enterprise.

The fund is delivered by Film City Futures in partnership with Scottish Documentary Institute. The project is managed by Business Development Manager Rebecca Thompson, who previously created film audience development and crowdfunding consultancy Hot Tap Media, and the film crowdfunding and distribution platform Social Screen. Business Development Executive Susie Wright previously worked as Nations and Regions Executive at Channel 4, and Development Producer at STV Productions and IWC Media.

Tiernan Kelly, Director, Film City Glasgow Ltd, says: “FOCUS is a direct and considered response to the needs of indigenous screen production companies. The project will address the issues of scale and access to expertise that many of these companies face, and create a generation of ambitious, international facing screen businesses producing content from Scotland. The project presents clear evidence of industry collaboration with our enterprise and cultural agencies on a shared vision for the sector.”

Applications are now open on the Film City Futures website and close on 14th August 2017, with the first participants selected by the end of August.

Jon Creamer

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