On Monday 28 October, Channel 4 officially marked the opening of its new Creative Hub in Glasgow.
At an event for staff, partners and producers from the region to launch the new offices based in Glasgow’s Garment Factory, Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon praised the city’s strong legacy of creativity, innovation and talent.
Mahon said: “Glasgow is and always has been a city with creativity running through its veins. Brilliant storytellers and artists. A place of innovation, with a distinctive and deep-rooted culture.
“Because of this, Glasgow has grown a fantastic independent production sector over the years and is home to incredible talent.”
“We will now be better placed to work with talent and ideas not just in Glasgow but all of Scotland, and near neighbours like Northern Ireland and the north of England.“
Glasgow 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 development of three new centres – a national HQ in Leeds and Creative Hubs in Glasgow and Bristol - 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.
Channel 4’s Managing Director, Nations and Regions, Sinead Rocks said: “A new National HQ in the north of England and Creative Hubs in Bristol and Glasgow represent the biggest change in Channel 4’s history.
“Our 4 All the UK strategy means we will be much better placed to develop stronger, more productive relationships with the creative industries across the UK and offer people opportunities which previously might have only been possible in London.”
Focus on genres in Scotland and Northern Ireland
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.
The 4 All the UK strategy will also 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 about 300 jobs being created in the Nations & Regions.
Commissioning departments represented in the new Creative Hub in Glasgow will include: Daytime, Entertainment & Live Events and Popular Factual as well as additional supporting operational roles.
"A fantastic opportunity for the creative industries"
“The opening of our new hub here in Glasgow represents a fantastic opportunity for the creative industries in Scotland and beyond. It’s our ambition that by developing closer relationships with local indies and communities we’ll be better placed to find the stories that properly reflect the lives and loves, opinions & concerns of our audiences.”
Channel 4’s Head of Daytime and Head of Hub, Glasgow
Earlier this year, Jo Street was announced as Channel 4’s Head of Daytime and Head of Hub, Glasgow.
Jo said: “The opening of our new hub here in Glasgow represents a fantastic opportunity for the creative industries in Scotland and beyond. It’s our ambition that by developing closer relationships with local indies and communities we’ll be better placed to find the stories that properly reflect the lives & loves, opinions & concerns of our audiences.”
Emerging Indie Fund
Channel 4 has also recently revealed a range of commitments to boost creativity across the Nations and Regions and develop a wider talent pool within the broadcast industry.
To help the sustainable growth of the production sector in the Nations and Regions, Channel 4 will launch a new Emerging Indie Fund to provide bespoke support for indies to develop and grow their business – succeeding the current Alpha Fund.
The Emerging Indie Fund will sit alongside Channel 4’s successful Indie Growth Fund, which will be based in Leeds and has been re-focused to prioritise investment in Nations and Regions, BAME-led and digital companies.
In addition, Channel 4 will help stimulate new ideas from producers outside London by devolving a significant dedicated development fund to Nations and Regions commissioners in the Nations and Regions from 2020.
Academy launch in 2020
To support the development of talent across the Nations and Regions, Channel 4 will launch a new academy in 2020 with the aim of attracting people into broadcasting and production from diverse backgrounds, address skills gaps and support the development of talent at more senior levels.
It will bring together existing 4Talent initiatives at a grassroots level, alongside existing training partnerships with NFTS and Screen Skills in addition to new senior level talent initiatives.
As part of this there will also be a new commitment to 50% of Channel 4’s apprenticeships and 75% of Production Training Scheme placements being made in the Nations & Regions.