At the heart of the strategy is a major new commitment from Channel 4 to significantly increase its Nations & Regions content spend from its current quota of 35% to a new voluntary target of 50% by 2023.
This will result in a cumulative boost of over £250m in Channel 4's Nations & Regions commissioning spend. It reflects both external analysis and feedback from the industry that increasing spend would have the greatest impact on regional economies and jobs.
To support and catalyse this spend across the UK, Channel 4 will move to a multi-site operating model, establishing a new National HQ and two new smaller creative hubs in the Nations & Regions in 2019 – home to jobs from across the business including key creative decision makers.
When this strategy is fully implemented, 300 Channel 4 jobs will be based in the Nations and Regions and the intention is to grow this further over time.
Channel 4 Executive Board member and Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Allan has lead executive responsibility, working closely with CEO Alex Mahon, for delivering the 4 All the UK strategy – including leading the pitch process for the new creative hub locations.
As a public service broadcaster with diversity in its DNA, Channel 4 has a unique ability to reflect our society. This is a significant and exciting moment of change for Channel 4 as we evolve to ensure we are best suited to serve all of the UK.
Programme commissioning editors overseeing significant budget and with responsibility for some of Channel 4’s biggest shows will be based across the three new creative hubs – alongside a variety of other creative and business functions.
The largest of the creative hubs will be known as Channel 4’s National HQ – and will regularly host Channel 4 Executive and Board meetings – alongside Horseferry Road as Channel 4’s London HQ.
This National HQ will be home to a new studio, with the potential to be a base for daily programmes, and a new digital production unit – creating compelling short form digital content targeted at young audiences which reflects the diversity of UK culture and values.
Channel 4 News will also expand its footprint in the nations and regions opening new bureaux giving a huge boost to regional representation, aiming to become the first peak-time national news programme to co-anchor from both London and the Nations & Regions from 2020.
In partnership with ITN, the programme will establish three new Channel 4 News bureaux with one becoming a major hub with a studio, digital and commissioning centre, tripling the number of jobs based in the Nations & Regions by 2020.
In total, it is expected that around 300 Channel 4 jobs will be based in the Nations & Regions. In addition, the increased programming spend will be supporting up to 3,000 additional production jobs in the Nations & Regions economy.
The corporation will retain its Horseferry Road office, but will reduce its London footprint with space in the building becoming a new drop-in workspace for use by Nations & Regions indies and creative companies building their business with clients in the capital.