Channel 4 gives indie sector £20MN boost

Editor | 24-01-2014

Aiming to nurture the UK independent sector by providing access to funding for small and medium sized independent production companies, Channel 4 is to launch a Growth Fund of £20 million.

The UK’s fourth largest broadcaster’s says the fund is intended to help generate additional commercial return for the channel 4 as well as add a new dimension to its existing support for the sector by stimulating growth outside of the normal commissioning cycle. It believes that the fund could offer an important alternative to other forms of equity and debt funding for smaller creative companies.

Overseen by an Advisory Board which will include external industry figures, the fund will see the initial £20 million invested over a three-year across a broad portfolio of television production and digital companies. Channel 4’s investment in any one company would not exceed 24.9%. It is anticipated that stakes would be held for up to five years to allow companies to achieve growth and sustainability. All returns from the fund’s investments will be used to further invest in the indie sector – either in the form of further investments or as additional funding to the programme budget.

Channel 4 has also issues a guarantee that its investments will not influence the strategy of its in-house commissioning team who its says will “will continue to work with the broadest range of suppliers and in a manner consistent with the Code of Practice for Commissioning of Independent Productions and with equality of access.” No output or minimum guarantees will be given to invested companies in relation to Channel 4 commissions.

Commenting on the move, Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham said: “Channel 4’s relationship with the UK independent production sector has always been at the heart of everything we do. The launch of the Growth Fund gives us the opportunity to go even further in helping to nurture new and emerging producers by offering an important alternative funding stream. And, as a not for profit organisation, all returns from the Fund’s investments will be used to further invest in the indie sector and for the benefit of our audiences."

Interested companies can register their interest via