UPDATE: C4 has revealed that it is launching three new creative hubs across the UK, featuring “creative decision makers” and a new TV studio as well as relocating Channel 4 News. It hasn’t decided on a location but is rolling out a pitch process in April with people starting to move in 2019. CEO Alex Mahon said it was the “biggest change in the structure of Channel 4 in its history”.
Channel 4, the UK broadcaster behind series such as Catastrophe and Electric Dreams, is set to move over a quarter of its workforce outside of London and increase the amount it spends on programs produced outside the capital. However, it will not be forced to sell off its London headquarters, according to reports.
The broadcaster is published its proposals, which are set to include around 300 staff relocating, after agreeing to a deal with the British government. This comes as it has spent a large part of the last two years dealing with the threat of relocation and potential privatization.
Last month, the government handed Channel 4 a deadline of Monday March 12 to deliver its relocation plan to government. It is thought that Culture Secretary Matt Hancock may discuss the plans at the Oxford Media Convention, where he is set to give a keynote address.
C4 is expected to eventually spend around half of its annual £700M (US$971M) programming budgets on shows produced regionally. In 2016, it spent £169M (US$234M) regionally. Around a dozen cities and regions across the UK, including Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool have spent the last few months attempting to lure C4 to their areas.
The move comes after the former Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, at the RTS Conference in Cambridge in September, demanded a “major” relocation of the broadcaster by 2022 and the plans have been one of the main priorities for Chief Executive Alex Mahon, who joined at the end of last year.