Following the news that Leeds will become the new national headquarters for Channel 4 – Bristol will become one of the broadcasters new ‘Creative Hubs’.
Channel 4 announced its ‘4 All the UK’ strategy in March 2018, the biggest change to the structure of the organisation in its 35-year history.
There will be a significant increase in the organisation’s national and regional content spend – from 35% to 50% of main channel UK commissions by 2023 – worth up to £250m more in total. This increase in Channel 4’s spend will benefit all areas of the UK, not just the specific locations.
This announcement will support up to 3,000 production jobs across the four hubs.
The new HQ and ‘Creative Hubs’ will be home to 300 Channel 4 jobs when fully established, including key creative decision makers – responsible for commissioning Channel 4 content and programmes from producers right across the UK.
The Channel 4 Board believed that Bristol best delivered against the vision and objectives set out for the new Creative Hubs.
A statement by Channel 4 read: “In Bristol there is the opportunity to build on a thriving television production sector in the City, which has world-renowned factual producers and also has strengths in areas such as animation and digital production.
“Locating in Bristol will also enable Channel 4 to work closely in partnership with Cardiff and its production sector – with the opportunity to further accelerate the growth of the creative cluster around South West England and South Wales – and also connect with indies across the West of England, Birmingham and the Midlands.
“Bristol put forward exciting proposals to establish new social mobility initiatives to work with diverse communities across the city and bring through new talent into the industry.”
There has been a universal delight across the business and political spectrum regarding the decision by Channel 4.
Tim Davies, head of South West and Wales at Colliers International in Bristol, said: “Today’s decision is a reflection of the fact that Bristol is recognised as one of the UK’s leading creative hubs.
“The city has a workforce that is ‘dialled in’ and a thriving media and tech sector with a reputation for innovation. Channel 4’s decision will further enhance those credentials.”
Tim Bowles, Mayor of the West of England, continued: “It’s terrific news that Bristol is to become home to one of Channel 4’s two new creative hubs. This is a fantastic recognition for our region’s wealth of local talent and thriving creative industry. Well done to all those involved in the successful bid – including everyone at the West of England Combined Authority’s inward investment arm, Invest Bristol & Bath, with their knowledge, expertise and tireless efforts to increase national and international interest and growth in our region.
“Through our significant investment in the bid, and the combined efforts of all our councils and Bristol’s fantastic independent TV production cluster to support the leadership of Mayor Marvin Rees, we’ve definitely been tuned-in to giving Channel 4 the perfect location for the future.”