Channel 4 is to offer specialist training and business support for small independent production companies in the nations and regions.
The 4Skills Business Boost has been set up to offer “targeted intervention” to help indies grow their businesses and overcome the challenges of the current economic climate.
“It’s of paramount importance that we support independent production companies as they face some very serious and challenging conditions,” said Sinead Rocks, Channel 4’s Managing Director Nations & Regions.
“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.”
The scheme is funded by 4Skills and will initially offer up to 6 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.
Following an initial consultation, a bespoke package will be created for each indie, with aid including finance, strategy, access to training courses and freelance support such as development producers or production finance support, to help the indie generate additional business.
They will also get 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.
“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,” added Rebecca Thompson, Channel 4’s Head of Indie Relations.
“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.”
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.