Community Channel first TV station to be owned by the public
The Community Channel has become the UK's first national TV station to be owned by the public after a successful fundraising campaign backed by Sir Lenny Henry.
The channel raised more than £390,000 through crowd-funding, exceeding the original £300,000 target, and will become the first community-owned channel.
The campaign received support from comedian and actor Sir Lenny, who tweeted: "Please get behind this people! They're doing good work and need your support."
It offered viewers, charities, film makers and media partners an opportunity to own a stake in the channel by investing in community shares, at a minimum cost of £50.
Some 300 individuals and organisations, including the Big Lottery Fund, Barrow Cadbury Trust and broadcaster Sky backed the campaign by buying shares or making donations.
Each shareholder will now have an equal vote on management issues, regardless of the number of shares purchased, and money from the shares will help cover costs while the channel develops new digital platforms, grows its audience and increases its revenue.
Caroline Diehl, CEO and founder of Media Trust - the charity that oversees 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."