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Audio Content Fund to support Asian radio audiences during coronavirus

The government’s Audio Content Fund has announced the final grants to be awarded in its special funding round to support audiences during coronavirus restrictions.

The fund launched a special rolling round last month following discussions between RadioCentre, AudioUK, and DCMS.

These final three grants bring to 28 the total number of projects funded from the round, with the money allocated totalling £398,151. The Audio Content Fund has now distributed more than £1million in the last 12 months, paying for content broadcast on hundreds of radio stations around the country.

The latest successful projects aim to reach audiences or explore topics not so far covered by the Audio Content Fund. They include the fund’s first project on a network of Asian radio stations, with former England cricketer Monty Panesar.

The show called ‘In Self Isolation With’ will feature a range of high-profile British Asian personalities. Panesar will spend an hour in “isolation” with each guest, giving him plenty of time to get down to the nitty gritty of what makes them tick, how they got their big break and how they maintain their chosen careers, how they and their businesses are coping with Covid-19, and how they can inspire the South Asian community.

Lord Rami Ranger, musician Nitin Sawhney and cricketing Strictly winner Mark Ramprakash already confirmed, the series (produced by Head On Media) will explore the impact of lockdown on Asian communities.

It will broadcast on Panjab Radio and Asian FX in London, Sunrise Radio in Yorkshire, Sabras Radio in the East Midlands and Radio XL in the West Midlands.

Reflecting on the success of the Audio Content Fund’s Coronavirus Support round, Minister for Media and Data John Whittingdale said, “We have made £400,000 available through the Audio Content Fund to bring to life brilliant ideas for high-quality radio shows that reflect people’s experiences of the coronavirus pandemic.

“These final grant awards show that it has done exactly that, with diverse and engaging projects that shine a spotlight on important issues including tackling domestic violence and the Asian communities’ experiences of the virus.”

All projects will be produced safely and in-line with government guidelines. With the coronavirus-focused round now closed, the funding panel will shortly turn their attention to the bids submitted in March and April for standard ACF funding, with the outcome expected in early July.