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C4 preps $33m indie investment

The UK’s Channel 4 is stepping up its plan to invest in the country’s production sector with a £20m (US$33m) growth fund ready to be ploughed into local indies.

The fund will launch in the first quarter of this year and the broadcaster will appoint a head of fund to oversee it in conjunction with an advisory board made up of external industry figures.

The fund was first mooted by C4’s CEO David Abraham at last year’s RTS Cambridge Convention and aims to nurture the British indie sector by providing access to funding for small and medium sized prodcos to grow and develop their business.

C4 said today that the fund, which will initially operate over the next three years, would help it generate an additional commercial return as well as stimulating growth of the indie sector outside the normal commissioning cycle.

No investment will exceed 24.9% and stakes would be held for up to five years. The channel said all returns from the fund’s investments will be re-invested in the indie sector – either in the form of further investments or as additional funding to the programme budget.

Once recruited, the head of fund will report to group finance director, Glyn Isherwood, and work alongside the advisory board.

Any investments made will not influence the strategy of C4’s commissioning team, the channel said, and no output or minimum guarantees will be given to invested companies in relation to C4 commissions.

Abraham said: “Channel 4’s relationship with the UK independent production sector has always been at the heart of everything we do.”


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