U.K. public service broadcaster Channel 4 contributes £992 million ($1.36 billion) to the economy and supports 10,600 jobs, a new report has found.
The report, by consulting firm EY, was commissioned by Channel 4 and released on Wednesday. In 2018, the broadcaster announced a major shift in focus with its ‘4 All The U.K.’ strategy where it committed to increase its main channel content spend outside of London from 35% to 50% by 2023, and also establish beachheads in the regions. The report was commissioned primarily to assess the success of that strategy, which led to the opening of regional centres across the U.K., including a national HQ in Leeds and creative hubs in Glasgow and Bristol.
The plan appears to be working, as the report reveals that Channel 4 generates £274 million of Gross Value Added through its supply chain in the Nations and Regions — i.e. across the U.K. and outside of London — and supports nearly 3,000 jobs as a result of its activities there, with the impact expected to rise further over time.
All data is calculated based on Channel 4’s 2019 financial results, the most recent set published by the broadcaster.
Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon (pictured) said: “It’s heartening to see the impact Channel 4 has above and beyond our work and spend within the broadcast industry. It reinforces the important role Channel 4 can play in helping to level up regional inequalities of income and opportunity across the U.K.”
Channel 4 also now has senior, creative decision makers at its offices across the U.K. and the report notes its support of emerging talent and diversity through a number of training initiatives and investments.
The broadcaster on Wednesday revealed the appointments of Neila Butt as the new creative diversity lead for the nations and regions, and Stacey Olika as creative diversity coordinator for the nations and regions. They will be based in Leeds and Bristol, respectively, reporting into Babita Bahal, head of creative diversity.
The report comes at a time when rival broadcaster the BBC has also revealed a major push to expand operations outside London.