C4 HQ decision blow
NORTH EAST CHANNEL 4 CREATIVE BASE STILL A POSSIBILITY
THE North East has missed out on the chance to house Channel 4’s new headquarters – but could still get a smaller ‘creative hub.’
A joint bid from Newcastle and Gateshead has failed to make the shortlist for the main base, dashing hopes on Tyneside.
The seven locations now competing to become Channel 4’s new base are Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, and the West Midlands.
The Newcastle-Gateshead bid will have to compete with those seven for the two creative hub opportunities, as well as Belfast, Brighton, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Stoke-on-Trent.
Channel 4’s chief commercial officer, Jonathan Allan, said: “We’ve been incredibly impressed both by the number of pitches we received and by the high quality of the submissions – which has underlined the huge amount of creativity, innovation and talent right across the UK.
“However we have to move to a shortlist phase and, 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.
“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.” More than 30 submissions were received from across the UK in the first round of bidding. Each of the 13 cities will take part in a second stage of the process – which will include Channel 4 visiting each city for a presentation and Q&A – before the winning bids are revealed in October. Currently, only 30 of Channel 4’s staff are based outside London – 25 sales people in Manchester and five employees in Glasgow – but this will see 300 jobs moving outside of the capital. Tyneside leaders had hoped strengths in the digital and creative sectors would give them the edge. The Gateshead Quays and the Newcastle Helix development, formerly known as Science Central, had been identified as potential locations for a new Channel 4 headquarters. But officials at Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, which is managing the bid, say they are optimistic about the chance of securing one of the smaller hubs.
It is understood that the creative hubs were seen as a more realistic prospect for the region than the national headquarters.
Catherine Walker, inward investment director at NewcastleGates-head Initiative, said: “On behalf of Newcastle and Gateshead councils, we are delighted to have been shortlisted as a contender city for a Channel 4 creative hub.
“To have the broadcaster locate part of its organisation to New-castleGateshead would be a real coup and a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on film and TV production in the region.
“We have so much talent emerging from the universities and colleges, and highly-experienced and established professionals already leading the way in the industry.
“New innovative technologies being developed in Newcastle-Gateshead will have transformative effects on the production and broadcasting industry and we would welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with Channel 4 to help develop the sector even further.
“We look forward to showcasing NewcastleGateshead’s strong offer to the Channel 4 team when we welcome them here during the next stage.”
To have the broadcaster locate part of its organisation to Newcastle Gateshead would be a real coup Catherine Walker
Channel 4’s current national headquarters and future London HQ in Horseferry Road