Channel 4 has appointed former The Garden CEO Nick Curwin to its Indie Growth Fund advisory board as an external independent expert alongside Lorraine Heggessey and C4’s executive team.
Curwin will help supervise the Indie Growth Fund operation, review the performance of the fund and make recommendations to the Channel 4 Corporation board for investments and exits. Curwin will also creatively mentor fund investees alongside Heggessey. Curwin has launched, grown and sold two production companies with his friend Magnus Temple. In 2010, the pair set up The Garden, which has received seven BAFTA Award nominations and two BAFTA Awards for programming such as The Family, One Born Every Minute, 24 Hours in A&E, 24 Hours in Police Custody, The Audience, Keeping Britain Alive and Bedlam. Curwin continued as CEO of The Garden following ITV Studios’ acquisition of the company in 2013, but stepped down earlier this year. He remains a board director.
The £20m fund was launched in 2014 to provide additional support to the U.K. independent creative sector, outside the regular commissioning cycle, by providing access to funding for start-ups and SMEs based in the U.K. to help them to grow their business to the next level. In almost three years, the fund has taken minority stakes in 13 U.K. businesses and this year has exited two of these investments, enabling Channel 4 to reinvest profits back into the fund and the U.K. creative industry. Since its launch, the Indie Growth Fund has invested in Arrow International Media, Barcroft Media Group, Eleven Film, Firecrest Films, Lightbox Media, Parable Ventures, Popkorn Media, Renowned Films, Spelthorne Community Television, The RightsXchange (TRX), True North Productions, Voltage TV Productions and Whisper Films.
Jonathan Allan, the commercial director at Channel 4 who oversees the Indie Growth Fund, said: “Nick brings extensive indie experience having successfully built two major U.K. factual production companies with award-winning content portfolios. His insight will be invaluable to the team as we continue to help grow our invested companies and seek new investment opportunities.
“In three years, the Growth Fund has demonstrated that it is a necessary resource both to the indie sector as a friendly investment partner, and to Channel 4’s remit with all profits successfully reinvested back into the creative economy.”
Curwin added: “This is a lovely role so I’m very pleased to have been asked to help continue the success of the Growth Fund and the companies it part-owns.”