1 June 2015
UKTV to unveil brand new high-spec production facility, including edit suites, filming studios and screening room at its London headquarters next month
Broadcaster is bringing creative services in house for first time, creating 12 new jobs
4,500 ft2 empty space transformed into ultramodern studios which will produce over 2,500 on-air promos a year
New flexible work and entertainment space will "allow us to supercharge our creativity and expand our expertise" says CEO Darren Childs
Britain's fastest growing broadcaster, UKTV, will launch its ground-breaking new production studios at its London headquarters next month.
The facility will create 12 brand new job roles, forming an expanded team of 28 creatives and production staff, who will produce over 2,500 promos and 700 pieces of navigational content a year for the network. Previously UKTV had outsourced this work, but as part of the broadcaster's ambitious growth strategy, it has now invested in building its own production centre. The move follows the release of the company's standout 2014 financial results last month, which reported record ratings and profit following huge investment in making original programmes.
UKTV worked with one of Europe's most acclaimed interior design and architecture studios, PENSON, to create the facility, with construction managed by NWA. It will feature advanced desktop editing and design facilities, online suites, sound suites, voiceover booths, a soundproofed green screen studio, luxury 30 seat screening room, fully functional kitchen studio for filming and a hospitality area with bar.
UKTV's CEO Darren Childs said,
UKTV is celebrating incredible growth, attracting 42 million viewers every month by investing over £123m in compelling content. This is a company committed to innovation and the future of television, and now is the right time in UKTV's evolution to expand our fantastically talented creative team and bring it in-house. These new studios provide a flexible work and entertainment space, allowing us to supercharge our creativity and expand our expertise.
The facility makes imaginative use of the mezzanine floor at UKTV's headquarters at 10 Hammersmith Grove. The space has been transformed from an empty shell (see picture) into an elegant, captivating and unique workspace full of colour and character. As visitors step out of the lift, the art-inspired high-gloss blue floor reflects like water, designed to contrast the clean white walls and maximise light and depth to the room without the use of windows. Dramatic curves in the walls create a sense of free-flowing creative space.
The broadcaster's Marketing Director, Simon Michaelides said,
UKTV's new high-tech facility will provide us with greater flexibility and enable collaboration between all stakeholders much earlier in the creative process, which will allow us to take an even more imaginative and integrated approach to our on-air marketing. The new facility also reduces our overall cost base meaning more money can be invested in production.
The studios will become home to a team of seven staff from multi award-winning post-production company, The Farm Group. They will manage the edit suites, putting the finishing touches to the work done by UKTV's Creative Team, headed up by UKTV's Creative Director Scott Russell. The Farm has designed an innovative solution for UKTV, providing additional support from its Soho headquarters, offering flexibility and scalability, as well as a robust media management service.
David Klafkowski, Managing Director of The Farm Group said,
Ensuring a smooth transition for UKTV to their brand new facility is of paramount importance to us. We are thrilled to be working with UKTV and are looking forward to building on the foundations we have already started laying with Scott and his team to support them in creating stunning and spectacular content to help promote UKTV as they grow their portfolio and audience shares.
The broadcaster is coming to the end of a 10 year contractual relationship with Red Bee Media, who currently produces core creative work for UKTV's channels. The two companies have forged a strong and fruitful working relationship and Red Bee employees based at UKTV have been offered the opportunity to migrate into UKTV's new in-house Creative Team.
Michaelides said, "I'd like to personally thank Red Bee Media who have played a significant role in our success over the past 10 years."
UKTV moved into its custom-built office, created to promote cutting-edge innovation, collaboration and a unique working culture, in July last year. The open-plan space is spread over two floors, boasts a large outdoor terrace, flexible team workspaces, swinging chairs and a 'secret' meeting room decked out as a train carriage, as designed by staff. UKTV now plans to utilise the new cinema space on the mezzanine to exclusively showcase and premiere its new content to both staff and external guests.
UKTV is enjoying its fifth year of unprecedented ratings growth, maintained against its increased investment in content. The network has increased its programming budget for award-winning entertainment channel Dave - the UK's most watched non-PSB channel - by 70% for 2015. Last year, UKTV successfully launched its on demand TV service UKTV Play, which offers exclusive premieres of new shows and handpicked collections and staff picks. The new studios will create promos for UKTV Play on-air, as well as the network's ten channels.
The facility will be unveiled on Wednesday 1st July.
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UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every month.
UKTV's eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food - include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £278m, and EBITDA of £67.4m. It invested a record £125m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.
UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.
Now celebrating its 22nd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies.