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C4’s Franses steps down from Indie Growth Fund

Laura Franses, head of Channels 4 (C4)’s Indie Growth Fund, has resigned her post and will step down later this year after three and a half years in the role.

Laura FransesJonathan Allan, commercial director at C4, will lead a process to hire the replacement for Frances.

Franses joined C4 in 2014 to help launch the £20 million (US$25 million) Indie Growth Fund, which provides capital and expertise to start-up and small-to-medium-sized businesses in the UK.

Under Franses’s stewardship the Fund has invested in a varied portfolio of 13 businesses including digital start-ups and independent production companies which specialise in a range of genres including factual, drama and sport.

David Abraham, the outgoing chief executive at C4, said: “The Channel 4 Growth Fund now makes an important and varied contribution to the creative industries across the UK.”

“When it was launched in 2013 it was a plan. Laura has helped to make it a reality with great skill, energy and judgement. We all owe her huge thanks for that.”

Through the Indie Growth Fund C4 currently holds minority stakes in Arrow International Media, Barcroft Media Group, Eleven Film, Firecrest Films and Lightbox Media.

The broadcaster also holds stakes in Parable Ventures, Popkorn Media, Renowned Films, Spelthorne Community Television, The RightsXchange (TRX), Voltage TV and Whisper Films.

Earlier this week, C4 also announced the appointment of Charlotte Desai to documentaries commissioning editor and also revealed four new talent-led commissions featuring Alan Carr, Miranda Hart and Harry Hill.

The company continues to search for a chief content officer to replace Jay Hunt, while former Shine Group boss Alex Mahon is to replace Abraham as CEO.