Channel 4 set to launch £20m Growth Fund for independent sector

Channel 4 will launch its Growth Fund of £20 million in the first quarter of 2014, which will be overseen by a new Head of Fund in conjunction with a Growth Fund Advisory Board which will include external industry figures.

The Channel 4 Growth Fund was announced by Chief Executive David Abraham at last year’s RTS Cambridge Convention 2013 and will launch in Q1 2014. It has the aim of nurturing the independent sector by providing access to funding for small and medium sized independent production companies based in the UK – to help them grow and develop their business.

The fund will help generate additional commercial return for Channel 4 and will add a new dimension to the corporation’s existing support for the sector by stimulating growth outside of the normal commissioning cycle and offers an important alternative to other forms of equity and debt funding for smaller creative companies.

It will seek to invest up to £20 million, initially expected to be over a period of three years, in 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.

The new role of Head of Fund, which is currently being recruited for, will report to Group Finance Director, Glyn Isherwood, and will also work alongside a newly set up Growth Fund Advisory Board, which will include industry figures from outside of Channel 4 and will provide advice and counsel on the Fund’s investment strategy.

David Abraham, Channel 4 Chief Executive 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.“

DTG Staff  |  23.01.2014

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