Temple Bright acts for Channel 4 on its new Bristol Creative Hub

Bristol and London law firm Temple Bright has advised Channel 4 on legal work linked to its new Bristol Creative Hub.

The recently opened 3,200 sq ft office, in the historic Fermentation Buildings at Finzels Reach will become a base for key creative decision makers supporting Channel 4’s relationship with the production sector.

Commissioning departments based in Bristol will include drama, factual, factual entertainment, formats and features – with a particular focus on supporting genres strongly represented in the South West, Wales and the Midlands.

Channel 4 announced its plans to open the base, employing around 50 people, in October last year following an extensive process under its “4 All the UK” strategy to decentralise decision-making and programme commissioning out of its London office.

Bristol is one of two new Creative Hubs – the other being Glasgow – with the new national HQ going to Leeds.

Temple Bright real estate partner Aaron Bennett advised Channel 4 on the lease and led a team which also included partners Catherine Gilbert (construction) and Polly Reynolds (planning).

Aaron said: “We are excited to see Channel 4 become a major new entrant in the thriving Bristol media and tech community. It was a privilege to assist them on this project and we wish them every success in the new Creative Hub.”

Temple Bright co-founder Tim Summers added: “This is a big win for our city and supports the case that Bristol has become a viable alternative to London for media and technology businesses.

“It’s really exciting to see such a major national player setting up here and adding further momentum to the incredible Finzels Reach project.”

The Finzels Reach development, on the site of the former George’s (later Courage) Brewery, overlooks the city’s Floating Harbour opposite Castle Park.

Bristol-based Cubex, working with funder Palmer Capital, has spent the past few years transforming the site into a new community in the heart of the city with 440 apartments, 240,000 sq ft of office space including two Grade A office buildings, a 168-bedroom Premier Inn, plus cafes, restaurants and a microbrewery across 30,000 sq ft of space.

It has also become a magnet for media, design, film and TV businesses. Channel 4 has said its hub will also include a creative diversity team to support on and off-screen diversity – a move in keeping with the stance taken by Bristol City Council, which spearheaded the bid to bring the broadcaster to the city and promised to work with it to promote social mobility initiatives that would work with diverse communities and bring new talent into the industry.

Temple Bright was established in Bristol in 2010 using a tech-enabled, streamlined business model. The firm opened a second office in the technology quarter in London EC2 in 2013 and now has 70 partners, evenly spread across the two locations. The firm advises clients ranging from startups to PLCs across a range of sectors, with particular expertise in technology, media, real estate, financial services and food.

This article appeared in the Bristol Business Newsletter on 22 November 2019.