Channel 4 to expand location filming work outside England under new licence
British broadcaster Channel 4 will produce more content on location in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 2020, under the terms of its new licensing agreement from regulator Ofcom.
“Ofcom has decided that Channel 4’s quota for programmes produced outside of England (in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined) will triple from its current level of 3% of volume and spend to 9% from 2020,” Ofcom said.
“This will require Channel 4 to increase the proportion of its TV production spend and volume in the UK nations by a minimum of an estimated 60% and 30% respectively from the current levels.”
British television production is shifting out of England more regularly. The BBC is particularly active in Wales, where its sci-fi behemoth Doctor Who is based, and the corporation also now films more content in Northern Ireland. Nonetheless, the BBC recently announced plans to double its Northern Ireland output by 2016.
Ofcom has decided that Channel 4’s quota for programmes produced outside of England (in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined) will triple.
Northern Ireland’s production industry has been put firmly on the map by the global success of Game of Thrones and the studio facilities in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast are soon to be expanded.
Wales also continues to gain in its international appeal. The country’s rugged coastline has been popular for big-budget feature production for many years and David S Goyer recently chose to double the country for 15th Century Italy in the fantasy drama series Da Vinci’s Demons.
Pinewood Studios recently announced plans for a new site in Cardiff, which will improve the city’s production infrastructure.
Scotland’s lack of purpose-built studio facilities has hindered its international appeal for long-term filming. However, a good supply of industrial spaces suitable for retrofitting has been enough to attract productions such as the new time-travel miniseries Outlander.
(Doctor Who photo: BBC; Da Vinci's Demons production stills: © 2013 Tonto Films and Television Limited.
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