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Channel 4 to invest £4m in regional digital start-up independents

Channel 4 has announced that is is to dedicate 35% of its digital media commissioning spend to independent start ups outside of London.

Speaking at a Nations & Regions Media Conference in Salford Channel 4 SEO David Abraham was reported as saying: “In the next two years we’ll endeavour to ensure that at least 35% of our annual spend in digital media commissioning will be from emergent companies outside London. This equates to over £4m of new spend.

“It’s a self-imposed target but one we believe to be in the spirit of our role as a catalyst for creativity, and is further evidence of Channel 4 Online’s ongoing integration into a single cross-platform content division.”

In addition the company also announced the launch of a £2m investment pot called the Apha Fund which is designed to harness and support creative talent at its earliest stage. This will sit alongside an existing £2m Converged Formats Funds.

Stuart Cosgrove, Channel 4’s director of creative diversity, will look after the Alpha fund. He’ll also be responsible for a team of media project managers who will build relations with “grass-roots” creative networks.

Channel Four has not yet appointed a head for its Converged Formats Fund, reporting its head of online Richard Davidson-Houston.

Said Abraham “The Convergent Formats fund will invest in ideas, apps and creative concepts for the next generation of web-connected TV, such as YouView. It’ll pioneer ideas for a new generation of broadcast TV, with the objective to become the partner of choice for the most imaginative digital media companies in the UK.”

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