Creative and digital departments at heart of new bases in Leeds, Glasgow and Bristol
Channel 4’s Chief Executive, Alex Mahon today updated staff and partners in the industry on Channel 4’s plans for its new National HQ in Leeds and its Creative Hubs in Bristol and Glasgow – setting out the creative, digital and operational departments to be based in Channel 4’s new offices across the Nations & Regions.
In the coming weeks Channel 4 will be announcing the buildings it has selected for its National HQ in Leeds and Creative Hub in Bristol, having confirmed that it will base one of its Creative Hubs in the landmark Garment Factory building in Glasgow.
The new bases 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, and 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 implemented, the 4 All the UK strategy will result in over 300 jobs being created in the Nations & Regions.
Creative decision makers – including Commissioning Editors, who are responsible for commissioning content from production companies around the UK – and digital and creative jobs sit at the heart of the new bases.
Alex Mahon said: “We are moving fast and we are on track to open our three new bases in the Nations & Regions this autumn. Channel 4 will soon be a very different organisation to the one we have been for the last 36 years. There remains much hard work for us to do, but this is part of our strategy to ensure Channel 4 is even more open to new talent and new voices from underserved areas and better reflects the diversity of all of the UK.”
As Channel 4 remains in consultation with those staff members potentially affected by this it is not possible to yet give details of individual roles in each location and plans may be subject to further change, but in each of Channel 4’s Nations and Regions offices, it is envisaged that departments will be represented as follows.
Leeds – National HQ
The National HQ in Leeds will have creative and digital departments at its heart and will also be the base of the Managing Director, C4 Nations & Regions – a new senior role who will lead the 4 All the UK strategy across the business. This new role will be supported by leaders from the departments represented in the National HQ.
Commissioning departments represented in the new National HQ will include: Comedy, Daytime, Drama, Entertainment & Live Events, E4, Factual, Popular Factual and Sport. It will also include members of the On-Screen Talent and Creative Diversity teams, responsible for the diversity of Channel 4’s talent and programming. Commissioners from these departments will work with producers and talent across the UK to support the significant growth in Channel 4’s Nations & Regions content spend and create more opportunities for regional voices and talent on and off-screen.
Leeds will also be the home of Channel 4’s new Digital Creative Unit – a new department commissioning and producing digital content to reach audiences on social and digital platforms. The Digital Creative Unit will work with departments across the organisation, and with independent producers, to support new digital talent and Channel 4’s investment in young-focussed content and audiences.
Additionally, the National HQ will also house other creative departments including the on-air continuity department, who produce and voice the airtime between Channel 4 programmes; and the Pictures team, commissioning and creating images for All 4 and for external media. There will also be a team supporting a new studio within the National HQ, and creative and digital roles from 4Creative, All 4, and the Listings team.
Commercially, Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund will be based in the National HQ as it refocuses on supporting the 4 All the UK strategy through investing in growing Nations & Regions independent production companies. There will also be roles from the Advertising Sales Operations team.
Leeds will be home to a range of key business support and operations personnel, supporting the delivery of Channel 4’s creative and commercial work. The following departments will be represented: Audience Research & Insight, Business Affairs, Corporate Relations, Data Science, Finance, Human Resources, Information & Archives, Press & Publicity, Production Finance, Systems Delivery, Technology, Workspace.
Additionally, there will be some roles from our partner contractors – including the ITN team as part of the new Channel 4 News hub based in the National HQ.
Glasgow – Creative Hub
The new Creative Hub in Glasgow 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 Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Commissioning departments represented in the new Creative Hub in Glasgow will include: Entertainment & Live Events, Factual, News & Current Affairs and Popular Factual. It will also continue to be the base of the Nations & Regions Creative Diversity team – and will also have additional supporting operational roles.
Bristol – Creative Hub
The new Creative Hub in Bristol will be a base for key creative decision makers supporting Channel 4’s relationship with the production sector – with a particular focus on supporting genres strongly represented in the South West, Wales and Midlands.
Commissioning departments represented in the new Creative Hub in Bristol will include: Drama, Factual, Popular Factual – as well as Creative Diversity, supporting on and off-screen diversity. It will also have additional supporting operational roles.
Manchester – Advertising Sales base
Manchester will continue to be the home to Channel 4’s Nations & Regions advertising sales team.
Notes to editors:
Channel 4 launched its 4 All the UK strategy in March 2018. The strategy had the following key elements:
- A significant voluntary increase in Channel 4’s Nations & Regions production spend, from 35% to 50% of main channel UK commissions, by 2023 – over £250m more in total over the next five years.
- A National HQ to be established outside London alongside two new smaller Creative Hubs in the Nations & Regions in 2019, home to 300 Channel 4 jobs including key creative decision makers.
- A significant increase to Channel 4 regional representation with new studio and new Channel 4 News bureaux in Nations & Regions
- A reduction of Channel 4’s London footprint with space in Horseferry Road office made available to Nations & Regions production companies doing business in the capital.