New Chan­nel 4 base ‘must be within three hours of the cap­i­tal’

Re­gion should be sta­tion’s home

Yorkshire Post - - NEWS -

CHAN­NEL 4 has laid out guide­lines for cities hop­ing to host the broad­caster’s new na­tional head­quar­ters or one of two new cre­ative hubs.

The chan­nel plans to move 300 of its 800 staff out of the cap­i­tal and will open three new sites in the na­tions and re­gions. Leeds, Sh­effield, York and Hull are among the cities bid­ding to host them.

It will also in­crease spend­ing on pro­duc­tions in the na­tions and re­gions from 35 per cent to 50 per cent of main-chan­nel com­mis­sions by 2023, boost­ing spend­ing out­side of Lon­don by more than £250m. The broad­caster, which is pub­licly owned but com­mer­cially funded, will not sell its Lon­don head­quar­ters but will lo­cate de­ci­sion-mak­ers and com­mis­sion­ers at a new base.

Jonathan Al­lan, com­mer­cial chief of the chan­nel, told a brief­ing that the host city for the na­tional HQ should have a work­ing pop­u­la­tion of 200,000 and a travel time of up to three hours from Lon­don, adding the win­ning city should also have a high level of phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal cre­ativ­ity.

The two cities that will serve as cre­ative hubs should have a work­ing pop­u­la­tion of 75,000 and a travel time to Lon­don of up to four hours, he added.

The city should also have prox­im­ity to a well-de­vel­oped in­de­pen­dent tele­vi­sion or dig­i­tal pro­duc­tion com­mu­nity. Ar­eas look­ing to ap­ply must sub­mit pa­per­work by May 11 be­fore Chan­nel 4 draws up a short­list by the end of May. The de­ci­sions on the three lo­ca­tions will be an­nounced in Oc­to­ber.

Alex Ma­hon, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Chan­nel 4, said it is a “quite fun­da­men­tal part of our role” to of­fer ap­pren­tice­ships and op­por­tu­ni­ties to those who might not oth­er­wise get them. She said: “I hope that by hav­ing us there we pro­vide a bit of in­spi­ra­tion, that you don’t al­ways have to be in Lon­don to have th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

She said that as space is made avail­able at the cur­rent Lon­don head­quar­ters in Horse­ferry Road, it will be made avail­able as a dropin for in­de­pen­dent pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies from the na­tions and re­gions.

THE BAT­TLE to be­come the new home of Chan­nel 4 is al­ready well un­der way but the pub­li­ca­tion of new guide­lines for choos­ing the win­ning lo­ca­tion should give con­sid­er­able hope for those be­hind the var­i­ous York­shire bids.

Chan­nel 4 bosses have now put for­ward the bid­ding rules to find its new na­tional head­quar­ters and two re­gional ‘cre­ative hubs’ ahead of a short­list be­ing drawn up in May and fi­nal de­ci­sions be­ing made in Oc­to­ber.

Those in the run­ning for the main head­quar­ters must be within three hours of Lon­don and have ef­fec­tive cre­ative in­dus­tries al­ready up and run­ning, while the hubs can be within four hours of the cap­i­tal and close to a well-de­vel­oped in­de­pen­dent tele­vi­sion or dig­i­tal pro­duc­tion com­mu­nity.

Most promis­ingly, given pre­vi­ous claims from West Mid­lands mayor Andy Street that Birm­ing­ham will “get the nod for Chan­nel 4”, the sta­tion’s com­mer­cial chief Jonathan Allen has pledged of­fi­cials will be “com­pletely open-minded about where we go”.

The case for York­shire is con­sid­er­able, par­tic­u­larly given cur­rent me­dia re­gional in­vest­ment is largely fo­cused on the west­ern side of the UK in places like Cardiff, Bris­tol and Manch­ester. Leeds, Sh­effield and Hull are among the lo­cal fron­trun­ners, with the for­mer’s bid also promis­ing roles for York and Brad­ford in host­ing the broad­caster should it be suc­cess­ful.

York­shire’s bids tick the boxes of what Chan­nel 4 is af­ter and of­fer an im­por­tant op­por­tu­nity to prop­erly rep­re­sent the mil­lions of peo­ple liv­ing on the east­ern side of the coun­try. Sta­tion bosses must now tune in to the re­gion’s po­ten­tial.

JONATHAN AL­LAN: Said the host city for the HQ should have a work­ing pop­u­la­tion of 200,000.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.