Relocation, relocation, relocation: examining the narratives surrounding the Channel 4 move to regional production hubs
Lee D, Champion K & Kelly L (2022) Relocation, relocation, relocation: examining the narratives surrounding the Channel 4 move to regional production hubs. Cultural Trends, 31 (3), pp. 222-239. https://doi.org/10.1080/09548963.2021.1966296
Promotion of regional cultural production is seen as critically important both in ensuring a television content that reflects a diversity of voices and in strengthening regional production hubs to support sustainable creative economies across the UK (Ofcom. [19th December 2018]. Review of Regional TV Production and Programming Guidance Consultation. Accessed 8.12.20. Available from: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/130911/Review-of-Regional-TV-Production-and-Programming-Guidance.pdf). The problem of London’s domination of the UK’s screen industries has long been recognised. In October 2018, Channel 4 confirmed that Leeds would be home to its National HQ, while Bristol and Glasgow would be the locations of two new Creative Hubs. This decision followed a competitive bidding process which fits within a broader paradigm of local and regional development led by the cultural and creative sector and specifically links to an articulation of the value of creative hubs. Within the context of the promotion of a creative hubs paradigm, this article responds to the need for more detailed investigations of political and pragmatic investment decisions around regional screen production. It examines some of the public narratives around the bidding process for the Leeds HQ and Glasgow Hub, as well as those aspects of the relocation that were “hidden” from official accounts put forward by C4 and local, regional and national government bodies. Finally, it reflects on the future of regional screen hub development in the context of continuing devolution of broadcasting.
Channel 4; public service broadcasting; cultural policy; nations and regions; creative hubs; screen production
Cultural Trends: Volume 31, Issue 3
|Publication date online||21/09/2021|
|Date accepted by journal||21/09/2021|
|Publisher||Informa UK Limited|