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Award-winning cartoon Milo back for second series thanks to £350,000 loan from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

  • Milo was created by Liverpool City Region-based animators Fourth Wall
  • £350,000 loan from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Flexible Growth Fund helps company plug funding gap
  • Loan will create up to ten jobs and leverage more than £2m in private sector investment
  • Winner of Best Children’s Series at 2022 British Animation Awards

A £350,000 loan from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority enabled local animators to make a second series of award-winning children’s cartoon Milo, now airing on Channel 5.

Created by Fourth Wall, the first 52-episode series won the Best Children’s Series at the 2022 British Animation Awards.

The cartoon, in which a five-year-old cat explores different jobs with friends Lofty and Lark, was also shortlisted for Best Pre-school Programme at the 2022 Broadcast Awards and won bronze at the 2022 New York Festivals TV & Film Awards.

Milo’s first series launched on Channel 5’s Milkshake in May 2021, and has consistently been one of the UK’s top shows for children aged 4-6.

Fourth Wall were subsequently commissioned by Milkshake for a second series, which is currently airing on Channel 5. The first series was made with support from the British Film Institute’s Young Audience Content Fund. The Government closed that fund last year, but the Combined Authority’s Flexible Growth Fund has helped to fill a funding gap, enabling the second, 26-episode series to be created in the Liverpool City Region.

Cllr Mike Wharton, the Liverpool City Region Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Business, said:

“Our Flexible Growth Fund exists to provide fast and flexible loans to successful businesses to enable them to grow. The digital and creative sector is one of the jewels in our economic crown and Fourth Wall have already proved that they have the talent and determination to compete with anyone.

“I’m sure this second series of Milo will see the business go from strength to strength and help add a successful animation studio to our booming digital and creative sector. What’s more, the Combined Authority will receive the money back with interest so we can reinvest it in more exciting businesses.”

Joe Moroney, from Fourth Wall, said:

“We are thrilled to have received this vital support from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Flexible Growth Fund. The £350,000 loan has been instrumental in bringing our award-winning Milo brand back for a second series, allowing us to continue our journey of creating engaging, world-class content. This investment not only helps us expand our team and IP portfolio but also reinforces the vibrant creativity of the Liverpool City Region’s digital sector. We’re excited to see Milo reach new heights and showcase the talent flourishing in our region on a global stage.”

Jeff Cummins Investment Manager from River Capital, said:

‘’River Capital were keen to find a way to support Fourth Wall’s plans and the development of their award-winning animated series Milo. The £350,000 loan through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Flexible Growth Fund enabled the second series to move into production. Fourth Wall’s success demonstrates the immense creative talent in the Liverpool City Region’s digital and animation sector and we’re excited to see Milo reach new heights and continue putting the region’s creative capabilities on an international stage.’’

Fourth Wall is based on Bold Street in Liverpool City Centre and employs 30 staff members. Producing a second series will enable the business to create at least three and up to ten jobs, and leverage in £2.116m in private sector finance.

Producing the second series will help retain and nurture much of the talent from the first series of Milo. In addition, the production is providing employment benefits to the city region by helping to develop an animation hub in the area. This production will enable Fourth Wall, the only Toonboom Animation studio in the region, to help build the local talent base. It is expected that Fourth Wall will create an in-house sales and marketing team once the second series launches.