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Channel 4 axes digital investment arm

Education, online products, and cross-platform commissioning will merge into Channel 4 Online.

Channel 4 is scrapping its £20m digital investment arm, 4iP, as part of plans to merge its online teams into one department.

Education, online products, and cross-platform commissioning will merge into Channel 4 Online, which will oversee all of the broadcaster's multiplatform propositions and services.

Richard Davidson-Houston, who was appointed head of online in August, will be responsible for the new department. He will report to Channel 4's incoming chief creative officer, Jay Hunt, who will join in January.

Andy Duncan, the previous chief executive of Channel 4, introduced the digital investment unit in 2008, and allocated £20m for it to co-invest with other technology backers, such as Screen West Midlands, over a period of three years. It is understood that 4iP has spent £14m so far on its total number of investments.

The Channel 4 director of creative diversity, Stuart Cosgrove, said the 4iP brand would disappear but the broadcaster will continue to honour all of the business partnerships already set in place by 4iP and the fund's remaining budget will be invested in "digital format innovation".