May 30, 2018
Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool among contenders for move
Channel 4 reveals shortlisted cities for new national HQ
Channel 4 has shortlisted cities including Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool and Leeds to compete to become the home of the broadcaster’s new second “national” headquarters.
The broadcaster, which will announce the winning city on 1 October, is also setting up smaller “creative hubs” in two additional locations ahead of shifting 300 staff and hundreds of millions of pounds of TV programming spend out of London.
Channel 4 has shortlisted seven cities and regions to bid for the national HQ or a creative hub, and a further six only eligible for a creative hub, with bosses planning a fact-finding tour next month.
The shortlist for the national HQ comprises Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and the West Midlands. Each is also short-listed for a creative hub if it fails to secure the main prize of the new headquarters.
The new HQ, which will operate alongside Channel 4’s £100m London base in Victoria, will have facilities including a TV studio, and host executive and board meetings.
Channel 4, which has said the shift of staff and resource out of London is the biggest structural change in its 35-year history, has also shortlisted six smaller cities that are only eligible to battle to be the home of the two new creative hubs up for grabs.
These are Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent.
The broadcaster has said its second main base must be in a city with a working population of more than 200,000 people, travel time to London of less than three hours, and high-quality physical and digital infrastructure.
West Midlands mayor Andy Street, the former John Lewis boss, said he was pleased his region had overcome the “first hurdle” in the bidding process. The West Midlands has been selected as a candidate for the national HQ or a creative hub.
“Now the hard work really starts as we begin negotiations in earnest to develop the most compelling case possible to the broadcaster,” Street said.
Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson pitched his city as a “soulmate” for Channel 4.
“This is a hotly contested bidding competition and to reach this next stage in the process demonstrates Liverpool’s pulling power as a location that offers businesses and their employees a great work/life balance,” he said.
Channel 4 said it received more than 30 submissions in the first round of its relocation process.
“After careful consideration by the Channel 4 executive team, we’ve selected 13 cities that are best able to meet our vision for our new hubs in the nations and regions,” said Jonathan Allan, Channel 4’s chief commercial officer, who is running the pitch process.
“We look forward to visiting all those on the shortlist as part of our second phase, but we will also be continuing to work with all cities and regions as part of our strategy to increase investment and support creative businesses, jobs and growth across the UK.”
Channel 4 News will also open three new news bureaux, with a trebling of news jobs in the nations and regions by 2020, while spend on shows made by production companies based outside London will rise from £169m annually to about £350m a year by 2023.
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