Bristol media industry welcomes Channel 4 bosses to city as search starts for new creative hub site

November 9, 2018

Channel 4 bosses visited Bristol today to meet the team behind the bid which convinced them to open a creative hub in the city.

The broadcaster also began its search for a location for the hub, which is expected to house around 50 staff, including some key creative decision makers. No details have yet been announced of the company’s requirements.

Channel 4 staff will begin to move to the new hub next year – delivering a boost to the city’s already vibrant media sector. 

Channel 4 announced the biggest change to its structure in its 35-year history last week when it announced that Bristol and Glasgow will become regional hubs with a new national headquarters being 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.

Part of Bristol’s bid – and an element publicly welcomed by Channel 4 bosses – included proposals to establish new social mobility initiatives that will work with diverse communities across the city and bring through new talent into the industry.

At today’s meeting Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees and partners from across Bristol’s media sector, including Plimsoll Productions, Ujima Radio, UWE and Boomsatsuma met at the Watershed to welcome Channel 4 representatives to the city.

Mayor Rees 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.”

Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon added: “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.”

Lynn Barlow, assistant vice chancellor at UWE with a focus on the creative and cultural sectors, played a key role in co-ordinating Bristol’s 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, wherever 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.” 

Pictured: Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon and Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, centre front, with members of Bristol’s creative sector at the Watershed

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