Channel 4 has surpassed records and doubled its quota of Nations & Regions content, with two-thirds (66%) of programmes commissioned produced outside London in 2021.
Ofcom set a minimum of 35% of original programming commissioned for the main channel to come from Nations & Regions production companies. Channel 4 has almost doubled the figure, while 55% of the broadcaster’s spend on new content went to out-of-London suppliers.
“These record figures show how Channel 4’s commitment to increasing spend in the Nations and Regions has helped break London’s longstanding dominance of the TV industry,” said Ian Katz, Chief Content Officer.
“Over the last two years we have built a formidable commissioning team in our new bases of Leeds, Glasgow and Bristol and their hard work, in collaboration with our brilliant indie partners, has ensured that the Channel’s output is now truly representative of the whole United Kingdom.”
The previous records for the two figures came in 2018, when 59% of hours commissioned were from Nations & Regions indies – and in 2020, when 47% of spend on originated programming went to supploiers outside London.
Lucy Smith, Development Executive at Wise Owl Media, based in Leeds, added: “Right now out-of-London production is experiencing an extraordinary renaissance. With the arrival of Channel 4 in Leeds ambitious young talent see Yorkshire as a land of opportunity, while some of the UK’s most exciting creative minds who deserted for the Big Smoke are returning in droves.
“Out-of-London indies are no longer content to deliver low-tariff regional programmes and are laser-focused on developing big budget international formats at scale. So if you’re considering a move north, be part of history and join us!”