UKTV is to launch its own production studios at its London headquarters next month.
“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.” – UKTV’s CEO Darren Childs
The facility will create twelve 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.
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 into what UKTV describe as “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.”
“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.” UKTV Marketing Director, Simon Michaelides
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. The broadcaster is coming to the end of a ten 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.
UKTV moved into its custom-built office 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.
The production facility will be unveiled on Wednesday 1st July. Pictured Top: Before, the empty space. Bottom: The new UKTV viewing room, one of the latest facilities at the production centre.