The Farm Group is to open a£3m editing facility in Shepherd's Bush - directly opposite the
BBC - in an effort to capture work from both the corporation and local indies, writes Sam Espensen.
Providing both standard definition and high definition services, the facility - Uncle - will have 17 suites, offering online and offline, graphics, audio, grading and duplication and will be based in Wood Lane. Uncle will have a staff of 30, consisting of both new recruits and current Farm Soho staff, and will launch in September.
Speaking exclusively about the deal, co-founder and joint-managing director Nicky Sargent told Broadcast: "We feel there is a demand for facilities in west London that are as good as the ones in Soho. There are a couple in the area, but we will be right on the doorstep of the people in Shepherd's Bush."
Fellow joint-md Vikki Dunn added that the location of the facility was all-important. "We will be just 10 feet from the BBC," she said. "And there are a lot of record companies in that area as well as producers like Endemol, Lion TV and RDF."
Although the broadcast facility market is seen as being in something of a slump, Sargent is confident that Uncle will succeed. "Soho is served pretty well by facilities - and these are more likely to close than new ones open," she said. "Some people will see it as foolhardy but we've researched the west London market and know how big it is. By itself the output of Endemol or a very small BBC department would keep Uncle busy. A lot of people will obviously still want to travel into Soho, but we don't think they currently have the glamorous independent option." The venture has been funded by "cash, shareholders' funds and leasing", according to Sargent.
Last week, the Farm also announced plans for a new mobile facility service called The Man from Uncle, which will be based at Uncle.