Audience Development Scheme

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

If you have a project in mind, please note the scheme re-opens on 7 June 2017 and closes on 30 June 2017.

Please note all activity must be completed by 9th November 2017.


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.


  • 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)