New films from director Mike Newell and Gosford Park screenwriter Julian Fellowes are among the latest projects to receive development investment from UK support body the Film Council.

The council's development fund is investing $25,800 (£16,433) in The Eustace Diamonds, written by Gosford Park Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes and based on the novel of the same name by Anthony Trollope. The project is produced by Simon Bosanquet and Ileen Maisel for Babyscope Entertainment, along with Bob Balaban of Chicago Films. Balaban was a producer of - and had a role in - Robert Altman's Gosford Park, which was also backed by the Film Council through its premiere fund.

Mike Newell is to direct Mrs Darwin, the story of Charles Darwin's devout wife Emma, who fears for her husband's immortal soul as he battles for worldwide recognition of his pioneering theory of evolution. The development fund has invested $101,800 (£64,833) in the project, written by Tim Rose Price.

An adaptation of John Masefield's children's classic Box Of Delights, written by Stephen Volk, has also received $60,590 (£38,583).

'The Development Fund is delighted to be investing in some of the UK's most talented filmmakers working in Britain today,' said fund head Jenny Borgars. 'We believe our support will help increase the productivity of fresh, popular and exciting films for broad and diverse audiences, both here and world-wide."

The fund has $23.5m (£15m) to invest in UK development over three years. To date, it has invested in more than 60 single projects and has established slate funding relationships with 16 UK film companies.