Film4 budget to rise to $23.8 million a year

Brit pubcaster Channel 4 is upping the budget of its film financing division, Film4, to £15 million ($23.8 million) per year for the next five years.

New budget reps a 50% increase on Film4’s current spend on development and financing, and is the second hike to the budget this year.

In May, C4 put a $3.2 million cash injection into its budget, returning it to its 2008 pre-recession level of $15.9 million.

News will be welcome to the Brit pic biz, which is still waiting to hear how money previously distributed by the U.K. Film Council will be dished out in future. UKFC is winding down after the government announced July 26 that it will shutter in 2012.

“It’s wonderful to be able to deliver some good news to our industry, most importantly because we believe that there is a wealth of great talent here in the U.K. that this extra money will allow us to support,” said Tessa Ross, controller of Film4 and Channel 4 Drama.

Film4 is one of the three major U.K. funding bodies: the U.K. Film Council, which closes in April 2012, invests an annual $22.8 million, while BBC Films invests some $18 million a year.

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