Channel 4 officially marked the opening of its new Creative Hub in Bristol last night (15 January).
At an event for staff, producers and partners from the region to launch the new offices based in Bristol’s Finzels Reach, Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon said the new base would enable the broadcaster to tap into the deep pools of talent in the South West and Wales.
Mahon said: “Bristol gives Channel 4 an amazing opportunity to tap into the talent and rich and diverse culture that exists in the South West and Wales. By having our people in communities across the UK we’ll be able to better represent the UK, and I believe we will become more creative, distinctive and relevant as a result.
“We’re building a first-rate Bristol team led by our brilliant new Factual Commissioning Editor and Head of Hub, Sacha Mirzoeff. And there are great opportunities for our commissioners to grow the world class specialist factual community here in Bristol and Cardiff’s thriving drama scene and indie sector on the doorstep.”
West of England Mayor Tim Bowles said: “Welcoming Channel 4 to the West of England’s thriving creative cluster marks our region out as not just as a national, but a global centre of excellence for the creative arts.
“Our talented, diverse and innovative workforce is a big factor in bringing such big names to our area. The West of England Combined Authority is working hard to maintain that position by promoting the skilled people in our region and the great work going on in our fantastic facilities. We are supporting home-grown talent to make sure they have the skills and opportunities to break-in to careers in this flourishing sector and our Invest Bristol and Bath team continues to attract inward investment.”
Bristol was selected to be one of two Creative Hubs from more than 30 cities across the UK which pitched to become a new base for the national broadcaster.
The new Creative Hub in Bristol will be a home for key creative decision makers supporting Channel 4’s relationships with the production sector, particularly focused on genres with strengths in the south west of England and Wales.
Commissioning departments represented in the new Creative Hub in Bristol will include: Daytime, Drama; Factual and Popular Factual. Creative Diversity will also have a presence in Bristol to help nurture and develop on and off-screen talent.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “I’d like to warmly and formally welcome Channel 4 to Bristol at the official launch of their new Creative Hub. Bristol is an ideal partner for Channel 4, as a thriving, diverse and innovative city. It’s also a hotbed of creative talent which is developed and sustained by a wealth of industry partners and experts, many of whom supported our bid for the hub.
“Our success was the result of a citywide effort and a shared enthusiasm for what the move means for the city and region in terms of job creation, new projects and further investment. We look forward to working with Channel 4 to help broaden industry access for creative talent from all areas of Bristol.’’
The development of three new centres – a national HQ in Leeds and Creative Hubs in Bristol and Glasgow – are at the heart of Channel 4’s 4 All the UK strategy to attract and develop talent from across the UK, both on and off-screen.
The 4 All the UK strategy will support the significant increase in the organisation’s Nations & Regions spend on creative content – from 35% to 50% of main channel UK commissions by 2023, worth up to £250m more in total. When fully implemented, the 4 All the UK strategy will result in 300 jobs being created in the Nations & Regions.
Channel 4’s Managing Director, Nations and Regions, Sinead Rocks said: “Our 4 All The UK strategy means we will be better placed to reflect the diversity of British audiences and also develop much stronger and more productive relationships with the creative industries across the UK.”