Memorandum from TAPS
TAPS - THE ORGANISATION
Training and Performance Showcase Ltd (TAPS) was formed some 17 years ago as a company limited by guarantee and also as a Charity to find, train, mentor and promote the talents of new writers for Film and TV from across the UK.
In these 17 years TAPS and its more recently formed Welsh subsidiary TAPS Cymru have trained over 900 writers new to the Film and TV industry and some 85% of these have gone on to become successful and gain commissions from the Broadcasters. 15 of the writers have had scripts made as feature films.
TAPS has an Executive Board of Trustee Directors and also an Artistic Advisory Board, both of which are made up from working professionals in the industry.
Why are the Nations and Regions of the UK so important for the supply of programmes that reflect the different flavours of life in those areas and why is it so important to have plurality of content delivery.
There are structures in places so that
representation of people can be enacted and also so that the "voice" of a
particular area is represented and heard. There is therefore an important need
for these voices to be given opportunity through media choices in each and
every region of the
Local news is important to every area, but more
particularly in the Nations.
There is an appetite in
In its prime,
A second tier of
The third sector of the
Since this structure has now been dismantled by the
For these reasons it is the view of our organisation that it is vitally important for there to be plurality of content delivery.
All media requires written work in one way or another to produce its output, therefore the development of local writers is very important to the development of truly local media.
For the past 17 years TAPS has been delivering
training courses across the
Our courses have discovered some amazing new talent, so much so that TAPS has been called the "X Factor" of Writing.
What we know therefore is that there is no shortage of talent but sadly a lack of opportunity for that talent in their Regions and Nations.
New opportunities through the developments in digital media are therefore very encouraging and should be used to develop new networks for the dissemination of regional and national news, current affairs, documentaries, regional dramas and comedy.
Partnerships should be formed outside the existing established broadcasters using independent producers and the major facility companies as the lead partners joining together with print and electronic local media to form consortia of sufficient strength to deliver channels of alternative content.
Financial incentives should be made available to those organisations perhaps funding from Regional Development Agencies in return for employment targets and use of locally generated content output.
The ill fated City TV initiatives that commenced some years ago were blighted by the shortage of spectrum, the limited life of broadcasting licences on offer and the reluctance to allow more cross media ownership.
This must not be allowed to happen again. One area that the City TV models did deliver was a major reduction in the cost of production, which was commendable since they were not operating in the digital domain where more significant cost savings can be anticipated.
TAPS could play a significant part in the provision of the talent needed to generate national and regional content. There does however need to be finance made available to this vital element in the rebuilding of the content base, TAPS would be prepared to assist any consortium set up to deliver content to these new media services.