Community Channel reaches its goal on Crowdfunder becoming the UK’s first community-owned television channel

Posted 19 July 2016

Community Channel announced on 19 July 2016 that it successfully raised over £390,000 through the crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder, which is £90,000 more than its original target.

The Channel originally announced its plans to become the UK’s first community-owned TV, online and mobile brand on 1  June 2016. In doing so, it would offer the general public, film makers, charities, media partners and, crucially, its 10m viewers, the opportunity to own a stake in the channel by investing in community shares through the crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder. This has now become a reality.

Less than two months after launching the campaign, Community Channel has smashed through the £300,000 target required to stay on the airwaves. So far, around 300 organisations and individuals have backed the campaign. This includes significant support from backers such as broadcaster Sky, the Big Lottery Fund and Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Britain would be a poorer place without Community Channel so I am delighted that its immediate future has been secured.

Lord Grade, former BBC Chairman and Chief Executive of Channel Four

Each shareholder will now have an equal vote on management issues, such as electing representatives to the Board of Directors. The share capital will help cover costs while the channel develops new digital platforms, grows audiences and increases its revenue streams.

Giving a voice to the causes that matter

Community Channel, which is available in over 25 million homes on Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat, offers budding film makers and charities a platform to share their work and content. Launched in September 2000, the channel shows over 75% of original and UK-premiere programming and brings together a diverse mix of talent to create an impact for little-known and well-established organisations and their causes on the airwaves. It is the only channel that turns viewing into doing, as a quarter of all viewers do more in their communities directly relating to programming they have watched on the channel.

We hope this massive vote of confidence will encourage further financial backing as we look to secure the long term future of the Channel.

Caroline Diehl, Former CEO and Founder, Media Trust

Caroline Diehl, CEO and Founder of Media Trust, the charity that established Community Channel, said: I’d like to personally thank all those who backed the Channel in its hour of need. These supporters – from large organisations who pledged thousands of pounds, to individuals who gave what they could – are united in the belief that the Community Channel is too important an asset to disappear. Hitting our original £300,000 target and then an extra £90,000 demonstrates the confidence people have in the Community Channel as a force for good for society. We hope this massive vote of confidence will encourage further financial backing as we look to secure the long term future of the Channel.”

Lord Grade, former BBC Chairman and Chief Executive of Channel Four, said: “Britain would be a poorer place without Community Channel so I am delighted that its immediate future has been secured. It is unique in the world as a means of galvanizing support for so many communities and causes. I urge people to continue to get behind the community shares scheme and continue to back the Channel as it looks to secure its long term future.”

Please get behind this people! They’re doing good work and need your support.

Lenny Henry, comedian, writer and supporter of the Channel

The Community Channel

Community Channel is the UK’s dedicated television channel for social action and community stories, inspiring viewers to change their lives and engage with their communities.

Set up by Media Trust in 2000, the Channel became an independent Community Benefit Society in 2016.

Read more posts...

Bridging the gap between the media and charity sectors

Blog post

Su-Mei’s first day as Media Trust CEO was spent at our Stronger Voices event, run in partnership with Open Society Foundations and The Guardian Foundation. In her first blog post, she shares her thoughts on the day,...

Posted 10 October 2017

Su-Mei Thompson Headshot