Screen Scotland teams up with BBC TWO and BBC Scotland on factual series initiative

Screen Scotland, BBC TWO and BBC Scotland have announced a new joint initiative to encourage Scottish independent production companies to develop factual series ideas for commission and broadcast.

BBC Scotland and BBC TWO are seeking proposals for 8x60 factual series which have the scale to return. Following shortlisting, a development fund of £15,000 will be shared across a number of successful proposals from independent production companies, jointly funded by Screen Scotland and the BBC.

The successful series will be broadcast on BBC Scotland and then at 8pm on BBC Two. Interested production companies are invited to submit proposals via BBC Pitch by midnight on 7 January 2020.

Dani Carlaw, Head of Unscripted at Screen Scotland said: “This joint initiative offers Scotland based production companies a compelling opportunity to not only develop up returnable factual propositions that could go to series, but to supercharge already held relationships with BBC Scotland and BBC TWO. This is also a unique chance for newer indies to take the leap at getting vital relationships like these off the ground for the very first time.”

David Harron, Commissioning Executive, Factual at BBC Scotland said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for the factual sector in Scotland to have a substantial series commissioned for BBC Scotland and BBC Two, with the aim of establishing a potentially returnable brand.

"This initiative comes as BBC Two is working with all the UK nations to create a portfolio of 32 documentaries, with the potential for some to go to a second series.


Screen Scotland and BBC Scotland will contribute £7,500 each towards the total £15,000 budget for this initiative.

This initiative is the latest in a series of strategic partnerships between Screen Scotland and broadcasters which aim to develop and strengthen creative and producing talent based in Scotland by increasing the number of companies and projects securing investment from broadcasters:

1.  BBC Scotland - In February 2019, Screen Scotland signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BBC Scotland to build a sustainable television industry in Scotland and to improve the on-air representation and portrayal of Scotland and its people. Since last year some of the initiatives resulting from the MOU have included: BBC Scotland Comedy Pilots which saw three comedy pilots air on BBC Scotland in early 2020 and a new project also involving BBC Three is providing opportunities for Scottish production companies to pitch ideas for a four-part series commission targeted at 16-24 year olds.

2.  Channel 4 - In October 2020, Screen Scotland and Channel 4 Daytime announced a call for proposals from Scottish production companies for a new joint daytime initiative designed to support the development of creative output from independent production companies based in Scotland.  In October 2020, Screen Scotland and Channel 4 Factual announced a call for proposals from Scottish production companies to pitch content ideas to Channel 4’s Factual team for the coveted 9pm slot.

3.  Sky Documentaries - In November 2020, Screen Scotland and Sky announced a new strategic development initiative to broaden Sky’s supplier base in Scotland for documentary series and films.

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. Sitting within Creative Scotland, it is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success. With funding from Scottish Government and The National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. Find out more about us.