Audience Development Scheme

PLEASE READ: Audience Development Support 2017

The Audience Development Scheme is now CLOSED. More information on future opportunities will be available shortly.

The Audience Development Scheme encourages exhibitors to champion British, independent and specialist film.

We support a range of projects that give audiences access to challenging and exciting films that will help them develop a lifelong interest in seeing film on the big screen.

The scheme has three tiers: see further information below. To apply for funding your organisation must be a member of Film Hub South East. Membership is free.

Application timelines

The Audience Development Scheme is now closed. From January 2018 all project support will be handled by the Independent Cinema Office. More details to follow when available. 


What are the objectives of the scheme?

  • Introduce programmes that include British, international, specialised and archive to new audiences.
  • Considerably extend film choices and places in which to experience film.
  • Help cinemas to better engage with their communities and with different types of audience including but not limited to LGBTQIA audiences, audiences with additional needs, people from a BAME background
  • Provide more opportunities to learn about and engage with film culture through themed seasons, talks, workshops, live scores for archive films, short films.
  • Build and develop professional skills and effective creative partnerships within the film exhibition sector (Tier 3 applications)
  • Contribute to the long-term sustainability of the specialised and independent British film exhibition sector in the South East (for Tier 3)
  • For 2017 we are particularly keen to support projects that are focused on India on Film and LGBT50.AND: 
  • To support projects with a particular emphasis on increasing the diversity of audiences and boosting the number of 16-30 year olds engaging with FAN activity.

What can I apply for?

The Audience Development Scheme has three tiers:

Tier 1: Projects up to £1,000  

Support for simple, short-term programmes and projects supported by targeted marketing material such as:

  • special screening programmes of specialised film which are additional to core activity
  • audience development / marketing campaigns targeted at a new audience group, a new activity or a new release
  • a programme of Cinema+ activities e.g. speakers, workshops, use of short films, use of screen heritage, live performance to accompany a screening
  • research & development for Tier 3 Projects

Tier 2: Projects from £1,000 – £3,000

Support for mid-scale projects with richer activities; to include activity as described in Tier 1 but should also target one of the BFI Focus areas (Young People, Diversity, Heritage and Audience Development) and demonstrate a greater scale in terms of reach, breadth and depth. The expectation is that 25% of the audiences attending these events will be new to the venue. Activity could include:

  • the creation of specific screening programmes with relevant Cinema+ activities for diverse communities or hard to reach audiences e.g. BAME and LGBTQIA groups or those with specific needs (such as subtitled screenings and audio described screenings)
  • partnership working between members and with other organisations in relation to co-development and co-delivery
  • new and challenging programming and Cinema+ activities that are developmental and have potential for longer term sustainability
  • new marketing initiatives including social media campaigns that target specific new and/or expanded audiences
  • pop-up and temporary screenings with reach, impact and legacy
  • pilot projects designed to test potential for a Tier 3 application
  • projects which take place in areas where there is low exhibition provision

Tier 3: Projects over £3,000

Support for significant developmental activity, which can include a range of partners and has long-term impact on audience numbers and film choice; building upon Tier 2 criteria, it is designed to support activity that is more ambitious in scope, will attract significant audience numbers and has a clear potential for strong impact and legacy.

All Tier 3 projects will need to have a set of related Cinema+ events, programme notes, web & social media presence, a dedicated marketing plan and address at least one BFI focus area. This tier also has the flexibility to support strategic audience-facing activity led by FHSE in conjunction with particular members.

  • sustained additional activity within one organisation over a period (e.g. over months not weeks)
  • large-scale activity taking place over a wide geographical area and/or with multiple partners (such activity must include a member / partner with strong project management capacity and experience)
  • ambitious, risk-taking and creatively innovative work
  • cross-artform collaborations where film represents a significant proportion of the overall programme
  • strategic activity co-led by FHSE and members e.g. projects with high impact that promote FAN’s objectives

How do I apply?

Download the FHSE Audience Development Scheme Guidelines 2017 [PDF]

Please read these thoroughly before starting your application.

You can find links to the application forms on the following pages:
Tier One
Tier Two
Tier Three (Expression of Interest Form)