Channel 4 has announced plans to donate £1.5m to the National Film and Television School (NFTS) to help boost and widen the pipeline of new industry talent in the creative industries.

Some £1m of the C4 investment will help fund an expansion of the NFTS to accommodate its new Creative Industries Skills Academy – increasing the capacity of its Beaconsfield Studios site in Buckinghamshire.

A further £500,000 will fund a C4 bursary scheme at the school to run over five years, directly aimed at increasing social mobility within the creative industries. This will be used to enable 20 students a year from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, particularly outside London across the UK nations and regions, to study at the school.

C4 chief executive David Abraham said: “The NFTS is a world leader and a vital source of talent for the UK creative industries and Channel 4 has the further development of that talent at the heart of its remit.

“I’m extremely proud that Channel 4’s investment means the school will be able to support more students from diverse and socially disadvantaged backgrounds, which will help increase social mobility within the creative and media industries.”

Commenting on the new agreement with C4, NFTS director Nik Powell said: “We are absolutely delighted by these two gifts which signify a major strengthening of our relationship with Channel 4.

“The capital gift of £1m is key to the development financing arrangements for two vitally needed new school buildings, adding to the support already received from the DCMS, BFI, Skillset, the Broccoli Foundation and others. These new teaching facilities will enable us to maintain our position as the world’s number one film school and the leading provider of film, TV and games craft skills for the UK’s audio-visual sector.

“C4’s generous five-year provision of £100,000 a year for bursaries and scholarships will enable more students with limited means than ever to attend the school’s courses, thereby widening student access to the world class facilities now in development.”