Channel 4 is to offer specialist training and business support to smaller Nations & Regions based indies “to help them navigate unprecedented challenges facing the broadcast industry.”

The 4Skills Business Boost will offer targeted intervention to support smaller indies to help them grow their business and overcome the challenges they face as a result of the current economic climate.

Channel 4’s Managing Director Nations & Regions Sinead Rocks said: “It’s of paramount importance that we support independent production companies as they face some very serious and challenging conditions.

“These challenges pose a disproportionate threat to smaller indies in the Nations and Regions so it’s vital that we do what we can to support those businesses which could be at most risk.”

Funded by 4Skills, Business Boost will initially offer up to six indies expert guidance and training, starting in autumn 2023. Each business will undergo a detailed business assessment with a business advisor to identify their training and support needs.

Indies will have access to the 4Producers, 4Skills and Indie Growth Fund teams, and will work directly with the Channel’s in house expertise in distribution, IP sales and acquisitions.

Following the initial business development consultation, a bespoke package of support will be created for each indie, which can include: consultancy with industry experts in fields relating to business sustainability, such as finance, strategy or human relations; access to skills training courses for company leaders and their teams; freelance support such as development producers or production finance support, to help the indie generate additional business; support to enable the indie to make changes to the company’s structure or processes and access to business intelligence, data and markets.

Rebecca Thompson, Channel 4’s Head of Indie Relations, said: “We’re acutely aware of how tough things are for indies right now so it’s important we offer practical support which can help them to negotiate the challenging market conditions.

“4Skills Business Boost will offer support tailored to each business to help them identify what improvements and changes need to be made to secure their futures and help them thrive.”

Business Boost will be run by the 4Skills and 4Producers teams, with funding from 4Skills and support from the Indie Growth Fund, Acquisitions and additional teams as needed.

The project is aimed at existing Channel 4 suppliers who want to accelerate their business and adapt in response to the current market conditions. Indies will need to outline key details of their company in an online application form and must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible such as employing between three and 15 staff and having a turnover of less than £6m. Further information can be found on the 4Producers website  .

Jon Creamer

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