VICTORIA -- The provincial government has launched a new pilot program to help B.C.-based television producers get their projects up and running.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture is accepting applications for its new Access 2020 program that supplies producers with up to $30,000 of funding for early-stage development of scripted TV dramas or children's shows.

The province says the program will help producers access funding more easily, as it does not require support from specific broadcasters, which is an obstacle that many industry workers face.

The funding could be used for tasks like research, hiring a scriptwriter, script development or travelling to pitch a project. 

"B.C. producers play a key role in our thriving TV sector, and we want to help them get more projects off the ground," said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

International television projects are already in production on Vancouver Island. An NBC/Universal television series called Resident Alien is scheduled to begin filming in Ladysmith next week. 

Residents of the mid-island community say that television projects bring excitement and economic benefits to the town while filming takes place. 

"Clearly, when any production comes over from Vancouver they pick up people locally," North Island Film Commissioner Joan Miller told CTV News on Jan. 9. 

"We'll be filling local hotels, which is a really important part of the economic impact of an area.

Meanwhile, television series have been filmed in Victoria as recently as November. On Nov. 19, Jordan Peele's remake of the television classic The Twilight Zone came to the inner harbour to record an episode of the sci-fi anthology series. 

The province is accepting applications for Access 2020 from now until March 11. Submissions for funding and further information on the program can be found online here