Pathe and BBC Films, with support from the UK Film Council's Development Fund, have announced a development slate of five new projects, after announcing a year ago that they parties would join forces to develop bigger films with commercial potential.

The four new projects announced are: an adaptation of Edwardian London-set TV classic Upstairs Downstairs, which Mike Mansfield and Hilary McLaren Tipping will produce for Mike Mansfield Films. Fay Weldon, who write the first episode of the TV series in 1971, will write the script.

Also, Julian Fellowes is writing Emma & Nelson, about Admiral Nelson's love affair with Emma Hamilton, a woman born as a village blacksmith's daughter. Nick Barton and Suzanne Mackie of Harbour Pictures will produce.

Harry Potter producer David Heyman of Heyday Films will work with the companies to produce The Thirteenth Tale, based on the book by Diane Setterfield about a dying famous author who tells her life story - truth or fiction - to a young writer.

Finally, London To Brighton writer/director Paul Andrew Williams is working with Pathe, BBC Films and the UKFC on The Choir, about a widowed elderly man who joins an unconventional choir. Ken Marshall will produce for Steel Mill Pictures.

The companies are also working together on the previously announced Thatcher, about Margaret Thatcher during the days preceding the 1982 Falklands War. Brian Fillis is writing the screenplay and The History Boys veteran Damian Jones is producing.

Cameron McCracken, managing director of Pathe UK said: 'We believe that this, our first slate, shows our ambition and our desire to secure the very best of British talent. We have had to compete aggressively for these properties and we are confident that the industry is now aware that we are ready to step up to the plate for the right projects.'

David Thompson, head of film at the BBC, added: 'The co-development of this diverse group of exciting projects further strengthens the bond between Pathe and the BBC, and I am delighted that this relationship has been facilitated by the strategic intervention of the UKFC.'

When the joint fund was announced last year, the parties said they had committed a minimum of $560,000 (£300,000) for the fund's first 12 months - $280,000 (£150,000) from the UK Film Council and $140,000 (£75,000) each from BBC Films and Pathe.