New Frontiers?: Channel 4’s Move out of London Conference
Date: Friday 7 July 2021
Venue: Watershed, 1 Cannon’s Road, Bristol BS1 5TX
A One Day International Conference hosted by the Moving Image Research Group, University of the West of England Bristol and the BAFTSS Screen Industries Special Interest Group. Originally planned for July 2020 this event is now taking place in July 2021.
Occasioned by developments within the UK’s screen industries, this event offers both UK and non-UK researchers the opportunity to discuss and debate developments in the reconfiguration of regional screen industries, and to present research projects and work-in-progress that examine the relationships between centre and periphery in any country.
Keynote speaker: Justin Smith, Professor of Cinema and Television History De Montfort University
There will be a presentation by Kevin Blacoe, Channel 4 head of Partnerships Nations and Regions followed by a panel discussion.
In October 2018 Channel 4 announced that it would be relocating its London National Headquarters to Leeds, with Glasgow and Bristol also set to become regional ‘Creative Hubs’. Part of Channel’s ‘4 All the UK’ strategy, these new bases are designed to ‘attract and develop talent from across the UK, both on and off-screen, and support the significant increase in the organisation’s Nations & Regions spend on creative content’ (Channel 4website).
As one of the three main UK public service broadcasters, Channel 4’s relocation to Leeds, Glasgow and Bristol is arguably one of the most significant events in these cities’ screen histories. The channel’s relocation is embedded within broader strategies that aim to challenge London’s dominance and to ‘rebalance’ the UK’s screen ecology. This strategy was triggered by a variety of forces: devolution in which Scotland and Wales gained their own parliaments; the BFI’s five-year plan Supporting UK Film that aims to devolve 25 per cent of its production funding to regional film clusters and has a set aside a £2m National Cluster Growth Fund to strengthen regional economies; the BBC’s relocation of five departments to MediaCity UK, Salford, Greater Manchester in 2011; and the policies of the television regulator Ofcom, which has set stringent targets for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 to spend a greater proportion of their programming budget outside London.
Although this conference has been occasioned by developments within the UK’s screen industries, we hope it will offer both UK and non-UK researchers the opportunity to discuss and debate developments in the reconfiguration of regional screen industries, and to present research projects and work-in-progress that examine the relationships between centre and periphery in any country.
9.00 – 9.30 Registration and Coffee
9.30 – 9.45 Welcome (Professor Jane Roscoe, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education)
9.45 – 10.40 Keynote (Professor Justin Smith, De Montfort University)
10.40 – 11.00 Coffee
11.00 – 12.30 Panel 1 (David Lee; Nathan Townsend; Laura Mayne; chair Andrew Spicer)
12.30 – 13.15 Lunch
13.15 – 14.45 Panel 2 (Alistair Scott; Andrew Spicer; Trevor Hearing; chair Amy Genders)
14.45 – 15.00 Coffee
15.00 – 15.45 Channel 4 Presentation (Kevin Blacoe, Channel 4 Head of Partnerships Nations and Regions) + Q&A (Chair Andrew Spicer)
15.45 – 16.45 Panel discussion (Sylvia Harvey; Pat Loughrey; Cat Lewis (tbc); chair Lynn Barlow)
16.45 – 17.15 Plenary
17.15 – 18.00 Wine and nibbles
How to get to Watershed: https://www.watershed.co.uk/visit
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information regarding this event.
This event is supported by the Moving Image Research Group at UWE Bristol and the BAFTSS Screen Industries Special Interest Group