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Welsh government to help bolster C4 Alpha Fund

Welsh government to help bolster C4 Alpha Fund
Staff Reporter
01 October 2012

Channel 4 and the Welsh Government have agreed a 12-month funding partnership to bolster Channel 4's Alpha Fund, specifically supporting the development of creative output from Welsh based producers and suppliers.

Both Channel 4 and the Welsh Government have each pledged a £100k investment to the Alpha Fund, which supports creative ideas from new starts-ups, new creative talent, new companies and grass roots innovation, in this case specifically in Wales.

Welcoming the strategic partnership with Channel 4, Welsh Government Business Minister Edwina Hart said: "The commercial media environment is extremely competitive which is why I welcome this partnership with Channel 4 which will provide a great opportunity to support the creative industry sector in Wales and encourage and promote Welsh creative talent.

"The funding agreement will bolster the amount of support available to Welsh creative companies applying to the Alpha Fund with the overarching aim of directly increasing the number of Channel 4 commissions secured by Welsh independent production companies and digital agencies."

Stuart Cosgrove, director of Creative Diversity at Channel 4, heads up a team of media project managers in creative communities across the UK. Media project manager Ian Mackenzie heads up talent spotting and development in Wales and leads on commissioning content and ideas through the Alpha Fund. In 2012 to date, he has commissioned 10 creative projects via the Alpha Fund in Wales, three of which have gone to full commission with Channel 4.

"This initiative reflects our belief that new and existing talent is emerging in Wales that we wish to work with on a regular basis," says Cosgrove.

Channel 4 also announced today its latest commission to come via The Alpha Fund, Tattooed Britain (w/t) from Welsh producer Rondo Media. This one-hour film explores the world of tattoos - the artists, the reasons why people have them and what happens when they regret them. The executive producer is Tom Ware and the director is Yonni Usiskin.

Other recent Welsh projects commissioned through the Alpha Fund include Plant Detectives (w/t), a new six x 30min series produced by Cwmni Da based in North Wales. The executive producer is Neville Hughes and the series producer is Arwyn Evans.

The series, commissioned by Jill Fullerton-Smith, aims to discover how plants can offer understanding of Britain's changing landscape and other forms of wildlife. It is presented by Royal Horticultural Society gold medallist and landscape gardener Chris Myers and his labrador, Lottie, together with botanists Dr Trevor Dines and lichenologist Sally Eaton.

Welsh indie Boom Pictures produced 40 episodes of weekly magazine show That Paralympic Show (pictured), which was broadcast in the build-up to the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The shows were fronted by Channel 4 Paralympics anchors Ade Adepitan and Rick Edwards. Boomerang also produced the seven primetime episodes of Jon Snow's Paralympic Show fronted by the Channel 4 News anchor, setting the scene for the beginning of Channel 4's coverage.

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