Scottish Screen has created a new $792,900 (£400,000) Slate Fund to provide financial backing for companies to develop marketable, high value projects over a two-year period.

Up to four companies will benefit from investment awards designed to support the development of a range of projects including film, television and interactive digital media and across a range of genres from live action to documentary and animation.

Carole Sheridan, head of talent and creativity at Scottish Screen said; 'There are a number of companies with projects in development that Scottish Screen are currently supporting. So far, this support has been on a project to project basis. Project funding will still exist but through the Slate Fund we hope to provide some of our best performing companies with an opportunity to plan and develop their slate with the security of finance over an extended term.'

Successful applicants to the Slate Fund can request a maximum of 50% of their total slate development budget over two years. They must have 50% of partnership finance confirmed at the point of application and be able to identify potential sources for the remaining 50% of the partnership finance. The deadline for applications is the end of May 2008.