Factual Fast Track launches in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Following the success of Factual Fast Track Wales, BBC, Channel 4, Northern Ireland Screen and Screen Scotland are launching Factual Fast Track Scotland and Northern Ireland in September 2021.

The year-long development programme will be delivered by Glasgow-based training organisation TRC and is designed to accelerate the careers of Scotland and Northern Ireland’s most talented and creative factual producers.

Successful candidates will benefit from top-flight industry training, paid production placements, commissioner and production mentors, exclusive access to commissioners, insight into commissioning processes and priorities as well as one to one support.

Factual Fast Track was originally developed to boost the careers and opportunities of the next generation of factual creative leaders across the UK. The scheme was launched in Wales by the BBC, Channel 4 and S4C leading to six producers being placed on the UK’s top factual productions. Factual Fast Track Wales is returning this year with Creative Wales joining as an additional funding partner. BBC and Channel 4 have also committed to running a pilot scheme in Bristol which will see three factual producers placed with leading factual productions.

Applications for Factual Fast Track Scotland and Northern Ireland will open on 1st September 2021 via the TRC website. The deadline for applications is 29th September 2021.

Margaret Scott and Claire Scally, TRC’s Joint Managing Directors said:

“We are delighted to be bringing Factual Fast Track to Scotland and Northern Ireland. We look forward to delivering such an exciting programme and supporting the development of key roles for the industry in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Patrick Holland, Director of Factual, Arts & Classical Music BBC Content said:

“The BBC is delighted to back brilliant Factual talent right across the UK, to help us meet our ambitions for great British content rooted in the lives of our audiences. This will give the brightest and best producers a chance to work on stand out shows and raise the bar for the programmes we can commission from Scotland and Northern Ireland”

Rhodri Talfan Davies, BBC Director of Nations, said:

“It is great to see Factual Fast Track expand across the UK. It has proved really successful in Wales – allowing candidates to get opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have had – and strengthen production know-how in the Nation. Brilliant that Northern Ireland and Scotland are getting the same opportunity’

Jo Street, Head of Daytime and Features, and Head of Hub, Glasgow, Channel 4 commented that:

“Nurturing talent in the nations and regions is a huge priority for Channel 4 and the broadcast industry. Factual Fast Track has already made a real difference in terms of bringing on talent in other parts of the UK, so I’m thrilled at the prospect of it having the same impact in Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Richard Williams, Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Screen commented that:

“We are delighted to support Factual Fast Track Scotland and Northern Ireland. With so many close connections across the two regions, we look forward to boosting the careers of the next generation of talented producers to bring the next level of factual content to the sector.”

Dani Carlaw, Head of Unscripted at Screen Scotland commented that:

“Factual Fast Track is a very welcome addition to our strategic development of Scotland’s senior creatives. Through close nurturing of Series Producers and Executive Producers, the programme encourages the continued expansion of top-level productions from Scotland, increasing the range of our factual offering, and its potential for screen sector growth. We look forward to further building the next generation of factual creative leaders.”

Funded by:


TRC is one of the UK’s leading training providers for Broadcast and Digital. TRC is a registered charity based in Glasgow, funded by The National Lottery and Scottish Government through Screen Scotland and BBC Nations and Regions and Channel 4.

Press contact: Kathryn Ross, Project Manager at TRC: kathryn.ross@trcmedia.org

Channel 4 is a publicly-owned yet commercially-funded public service broadcaster and has a remit to be innovative, experimental and distinctive. Its public ownership and not-for-profit status ensure all profit generated by its commercial activity is directly reinvested back into the delivery of its public service remit.

As a publisher-broadcaster, Channel 4 is also required to commission UK content from the independent production sector and currently works with around 300 creative companies across the UK every year.

In addition to the main Channel 4 service, its portfolio includes: E4, More4, Film4, 4seven, Channel4.com, streaming service All 4 and The Box Plus Network, including 4Music.

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. 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. Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and 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. screen.scot  / Twitter / Instagram.

Northern Ireland Screen

Northern Ireland Screen is the government-backed lead agency in Northern Ireland for the film, television and games industries, driving global growth through boosting our economy, celebrating our culture and enhancing our children’s education.

In our strategy, Opening Doors (Phase II), launched in 2018, we have a clear vision to transform the screen industries in Northern Ireland, ensuring that we have the strongest screen industry outside of London in the UK and Ireland within 10 years, supported by vibrant and diverse cultural voices that are recognized and celebrated equally at home and abroad.

This mission, to accelerate the development of a dynamic and sustainable screen industry and culture in Northern Ireland, is supported by intervention in the following areas:

  • Production and development funding for film, television and digital content;
  • A free information service and production support for filming in Northern Ireland, including locations FAM trips for incoming productions; help with sourcing crews and facilities; studio facilities Titanic Studios and Belfast Harbour Studios, as well as excellent alternative build space;
  • Marketing Northern Ireland as a worldwide production location and promoting its product and talent;
  • Financial assistance for training and skills development;
  • Production funding for Irish Language and Ulster-Scots programming;
  • Investment in film education, heritage and archive, film festivals and cultural cinema.

Northern Ireland Screen is a company limited by guarantee, currently employing 28 people and governed by a Board of thirteen Directors. The Chairwoman is Rotha Johnston and Kenneth Branagh is Honorary President. 

Northern Ireland Screen is funded by the Department for the Economy and by the Department for Communities and is delegated by the Arts Council of NI (ACNI) to administer Lottery funding for film in Northern Ireland.