I wonder what they mean by "creative hub" anyway... seeing as they mainly commission content. The only things they create themselves are their promos/trails/marketing/social media.
Ever wondered why traditionally most independent production companies are based in the soho/fitzrovia area of London? That's because Channel 4 started in Charlotte Street and so all the new companies supplying it gravitated to the area.
I suspect that's the idea behind these 'hubs', Channel 4 provide the hub, to attract the creative industry to those areas. It's not channel 4 creating things, they'll commission from their 4 bases
Also as the article says the plan for Horseferry Road is to rent out office space to production companies, presumably that will be the case in the other hubs
Yes of course Channel 4 coming into existence as a commissioning-broadcaster (rather than a producer) kick-started the independent production sector in London in 1982. Since then though production companies have appeared all over the UK supplying Channel 4, 5, BBC, Sky, etc... and they've all done pretty well in their own offices in their own towns and cities up to now.
Taking "creative hub" to mean that Channel 4 intends to open offices in specific towns with space that can be leased by independents... I just wonder if that will actually work as an idea.
Taking Northern Ireland as an example... if Channel 4 decided to open a "hub" in Belfast city centre... I'm not entirely convinced that Waddell Media, Flickerpix, Below the Radar, Striling, Sixteen South, etc would leave their individual premises in and around Belfast... just so that they could all sit in the same office block as 1 or 2 Channel 4 genre commissioners on the off-chance of getting some business.
May be they hope that it will encourage new production companies to set up. Great. But if that's the plan they're going to have to give some serious rent discounts and be prepared to have a lot of empty space while businesses establish.
I'm all for more television production outside of London... I'm just not convinced so far by what I've read.