Channel 4 has announced it is to “reduce its London footprint” and move to a multi-site operating model.
Speculation over Channel 4’s London future has been rife for months with the broadcaster expected to move away from the capital completely.
It has now confirmed plans to establish a multi-site operating model, with a new National HQ and two new smaller creative hubs in the Nations & Regions in 2019, although it hasn’t said where any of these new sites will be. 300 Channel 4 jobs will be based in the Nations and Regions and the channel says it intends to grow the number “over time.”
The National HQ will include a new Channel 4 studio as well as a new digital production unit.
A pitch process will be launched in April in which cities and regions across the UK can bid to become the home of the new Channel 4 creative hubs – with the aim that a decision on the location of the hubs will be made in Q3 2018.
Channel 4 executive board member, Jonathan Allan will take on lead executive responsibility, working closely with CEO Alex Mahon.
The broadcaster has also announced plans to significantly increase its Nations & Regions content spend from its current quota of 35 per cent to a new voluntary target of 50 per cent by 2023. This will result in a cumulative boost of over £250 million in Channel 4’s Nations & Regions commissioning spend.
Mahon said: “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.
“With this new strategy we will go even further to make sure that people right across the UK are represented on screen and in the make up of our own organisation – and it will also build on what we already do to support creative businesses, jobs and economies in the Nations & Regions.”
Channel 4 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.