UKTV has unveiled a new production studio housed in their headquarters at 10 Hammersmith Grove, which will become the central hub for the creation of promos for the commercial network as they move their creative services in-house next month.
The new studio facilities, which makes imaginative use of the mezzanine floor at UKTV’s headquarters, were designed by PENSON (the same award winning architectural firm who designed UKTV’s HQ) and have been in the works for some time, after first being mooted when UKTV announced their move to Hammersmith Grove back in February 2014.
Soon after that, work began on transforming the “empty shell” (pictured, left) into a workspace that includes advanced desktop editing and design facilities, online suites, sound suites, voiceover booths, a soundproofed green screen studio, a luxury 30 seat cinema style screening room, fully functional kitchen studio for filming and a hospitality area with bar. The completed facility will house 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.
It will also be home to some seven members of staff from multi award-winning post-production company The Farm Group, who will manage the edit suites and put the finishing touches on the work of the UKTV Creative Services team. The Farm Group will also provide additional support from their own Soho headquarters when necessary.
This is something of a step-change for UKTV, having previously contracted out such creative work to Red Bee Media, who currently have staff housed at Hammersmith Grove. The decision to move creative-services in-house brings an end to a 10 year relationship between the two companies, though UKTV did note that Red Bee employees based at their HQ have been offered the opportunity to migrate into UKTV’s new in-house Creative Team, which is led by Creative Director Scott Russell.
“Ensuring a smooth transition for UKTV to their brand new facility is of paramount importance to us”, said David Klafkowski, Managing Director of The Farm Group. “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 formal announcement of this in-house move, which is creating 12 new jobs, comes less than two weeks after UKTV revealed their strong financial results for 2014. “UKTV is celebrating incredible growth, attracting 42 million viewers every month by investing over £123m in compelling content”, said CEO Darren Childs. “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”.
Whilst noting that the move was a necessary change as part of UKTV’s growth strategy moving forward, Childs also said that “these new studios provide a flexible work and entertainment space, allowing us to supercharge our creativity and expand our expertise”. UKTV also 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’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”, added UKTV’s Marketing Director Simon Michaelides. “The new facility also reduces our overall cost base meaning more money can be invested in production.”