Made Outside London Review Team
Ofcom
Riverside House
2A Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA

 

25 February 2019

Dear Team,

 

Review of Regional TV Production and Programming Guidance

I write in response to your consultation on regional television production and programming guidance.

I note that in your proposed changes to regional production you have taken into account Equity’s call for on-screen talent to be included in the requirement for ‘at least 70% of the production budget … [to] be spent in the UK outside the M25’.

As stated in the consultation document, the Guidance published in 2004 sets out the reasoning for excluding on-screen talent from the calculations:

‘to ensure that the quotas remain focussed on regionally-based production expertise rather than more mobile on-screen talent and, importantly, to avoid the quotas being skewed by the significant cost of onscreen talent’.

You also note that, in response to your latest consultation, Equity have:

argued that the current criteria do not adequately support on-screen talent based in the nations and regions who are looking for work and suggested that the exclusion for onscreen talent could be deleted from the production budget criterion to address this issue. Equity also proposed that we could amend the criteria to place an obligation on broadcasters and producers to undertake at least one local casting session, to demonstrate a willingness to explore the on-screen talent in the locality of the production.

The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee would like to endorse Equity’s arguments for greater regional representation on screen and an obligation to hold at least one local casting session.

During our inquiry into film and major television productions in Wales we heard from stakeholders that more efforts should be made by producers shooting in Wales to cast from the local area. Although this evidence tended to be focused on conditions attached to funding provided by the Welsh Government, we feel that it is applicable in the case of public service broadcasting, which again is intended to support socially beneficial outcomes.

The Committee agree that placing an obligation on public service broadcasters to hold local casting requirements would increase the opportunities for creative talent to thrive in Wales, and improve the public value of public service broadcasting.

 

Yours sincerely, 

Bethan Sayed

Chair of the Committee