The highly anticipated creative hub will be opening in the waterfront quarter this autumn
Following news last year that Channel 4 would be moving its headquarters out of London and creating a further two creative hubs, the race was on for UK cities to convince the broadcaster that they should be the new base. A decision was made in October, with Channel 4 confirming that Leeds would be the home of the new national HQ, with Bristol and Glasgow claiming the two creative hub spots.
Channel 4 has announced that Finzels Reach, Bristol’s new waterfront quarter, will house the new creative hub. The broadcaster is in advanced negotiations with developer Cubex, and will lease 3,200 sq ft of space on the second floor of the Fermentation Buildings which overlook the Floating Harbour in the heart of the city. The buildings are part of the rich brewing history at Finzels Reach, which has been home to several famous breweries over the years, most recently Courage Brewery before it closed in the 1990s.
Finzels Reach is a new community being created by developer Cubex with funding from Palmer Capital. Previously closed off to the public for over 200 years, the area is now transformed, with high-quality homes, unique workspaces, a hotel and leisure space. Around 2,500 people will be living and working at Finzels Reach by the end of the year.
The new creative hub will be a base for key creative decision-makers supporting Channel 4’s relationship with the production sector – with a particular focus on supporting genres strongly represented in the South West, Wales and the Midlands. Commissioning departments represented in the new creative hub will include: drama, factual and popular factual – as well as creative diversity, supporting on- and off-screen diversity. It will also have additional supporting operational roles. It has also been announced that Glasgow’s creative hub will be hosting the factual side of the channel’s output.
The negotiations were led by CBRE on behalf of Channel 4, with Knight Frank and Savills acting on behalf of Cubex.
“We looked at a number of different sites in Bristol, but the Fermentation Buildings stood out for us offering both a great location in the heart of the city in reach of transport links, and a historic industrial building with superb facilities on hand for our staff,” Jonathan Allen, Channel 4’s chief commercial officer commented.
“We’re on track and incredibly excited to be opening our creative hub in the city this autumn.”
Peter Walford, director of Cubex, stated: “We are thrilled that Channel 4 has chosen Finzels Reach as the new home of its creative hub. This move is hugely significant for the city, far beyond the size of the hub itself, and testament to its thriving television and production industry.”
“This comes after other creative companies including BDH and OUTLAW announced their move to Finzels Reach, paving the way for the creation of a creative and media business hub within the quarter,” Peter continued.
When fully implemented, Channel 4’s 4 All the UK strategy will result in over 300 Channel 4 jobs being created in the Nations & Regions, with the new Bristol creative hub expecting to create or bring around 50–60 jobs in the city.