Last week Channel 4 announced the biggest change to its structure in its 35-year history, with Bristol and Glasgow to become creative hubs and a new national headquarters to be based in Leeds. The moves are at the heart of Channel 4’s new plan ‘4 All the UK’ to ensure that the broadcaster better represents all the UK, on and off-screen.
At today’s meeting, the Mayor of Bristol and partners from across Bristol’s media sector, including Plimsoll Productions, Ujima Radio, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and Boomsatsuma met at the Watershed to welcome Channel 4 representatives to the city.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “The reaction to the news that Bristol has been selected to host a new creative hub has been overwhelmingly positive and today was a chance to bring Channel 4 together with many of the different partners who contributed to the bid. Together the group represented a wide range of organisations and communities, all of whom share a sense of genuine excitement and enthusiasm for the journey ahead. We look forward to Channel 4 joining our thriving media industry and working with the broadcaster to realise our vision to broaden industry access and develop diverse talent from all areas of Bristol.”
Alex Mahon, Channel 4 Chief Executive said: “We were so impressed by the Bristol bid and the diversity of the creative partners who came together for the pitch. In particular the team effort and focus on social mobility were things we felt we could work well with. Channel 4 is passionate about creative innovation and representing different audiences and I hope that this move will help to bring a new pipeline of talent into the industry.”
Channel 4 noted that as part of its bid Bristol put forward exciting proposals to establish new social mobility initiatives to work with diverse communities across the city and bring through new talent into the industry.
Lynn Barlow, assistant vice chancellor at UWE Bristol, with a focus on the creative and cultural sectors, played a key role in co-ordinating the bid. She said: “With Channel 4 as a strong creative anchor in the city we know we can take our creative industries to the next level and fully realise our shared ambitions to find and nurture new talent and new voices, whereever and whoever they are.
“The future success of our production companies and digital businesses depends on us all working together across education, politics and with all communities – it is incredibly exciting to have Channel 4 as a partner in shaping that future.”
During the visit to Bristol Channel 4 also began its search for a suitable location and details will be announced once a property is chosen. It is envisaged that staff will begin to move to the new locations in 2019.