A panel provider is to supply free television and film from local TV stations to vulnerable communities in the north of England.
The BBC’s World Service, which is based in Aberdeen, will be running the programme from December, as part of a £2.5m grant from the Government.
This is a collaboration between the Northern Ireland Department of Social Development and the National Centre for Social Work (NCSW).
The project will work in partnership with local community groups and is expected to produce over 600 hours of TV and radio programming.
This will be the first time that local TV broadcasters have been able to deliver TV content in the North of England to vulnerable groups, such as women and children.
The programme will be made available free of charge to people with a basic income or who do not receive benefits.
“There are a number of things we are trying to get across about the welfare state in this country,” said John Wilson, director of BBC Scotland’s Centre for Community Development, which will run the programme.
“We have a lot of young people in our country who are getting a bit frustrated, particularly in this age of austerity, that they don’t have access to a range of things that they need.”
The programme is being run in partnership between the BBC World Service and the Northern Irish Department of Housing and Communities, which has launched a free-to-air channel for the BBC’s flagship programme, Good Morning Scotland.
A spokesperson for the Northern State Government said: “This is an exciting project, which brings together the expertise of the BBC and the NCHW in order to deliver services that are more effective for vulnerable communities across Northern Ireland.”
The Department of Health said the project would provide people with no income with “a basic income” with “the opportunity to enjoy a wider range of free services” and “a secure and reliable source of information”.
“The programme has already demonstrated the benefits of this to people in Northern Ireland,” said Dr Fiona Murchie.
“People will be able to access more relevant information and services, and access programmes they might not otherwise be able.”
The project will be supported by the Department of Work and Pensions, and will be funded by the Northern Trust.
The National Centre will also be providing a £500,000 grant to help the project.
The North of Ireland is one of the poorest regions of the UK, with a poverty rate of over 15%.