Cardiff on C4 shortlist as possible site for new HQ
CARDIFF has been shortlisted by Channel 4 as a potential site for its new HQ, but there was disappointment for rival Welsh bidders that did not make the cut.
Channel 4 yesterday confirmed the cities and regions that have been shortlisted to host its new national headquarters and two creative hubs.
The broadcaster will move 300 staff out of London to three new bases next year in the biggest change to its structure in its 35-year history, and invited pitches from across the UK.
Cardiff, together with Bristol, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and the West Midlands have all been shortlisted for the national headquarters or a creative hub, while Belfast, Brighton, NewcastleGateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent have made the cut to be considered to be a creative hub.
But there was disappointment for Swansea, Wrexham and Port Talbot.
Swansea had made a bid to be considered as a base for the HQ, while Wrexham had made a joint England-Wales bid to host the new headquarters.
Port Talbot had been put forward as a possible site for a creative hub.
Of the three new hubs in the nations and regions, the largest will be the new national HQ.
It will have facilities including a TV studio, from which the Channel 4 News can be broadcast.
The first-round pitch process was launched in April, with more than 30 submissions entered.
In making Cardiff’s pitch, council leader Huw Thomas highlighted the capital’s track record in the fields of broadcasting and cultural excellence, adding: “The city’s skills base is second to none.
“Film, television radio, video games, animation and post-production activities are at the heart of Cardiff’s creative growth, supported by world-class universities teaching over 7,000 students in creative courses.”
Each of the shortlisted cities will now participate in a second-stage process – which will include Channel 4 visiting each city for a presentation and Q&A.
The final locations will be selected in October 2018.
Jonathan Allan, Channel 4’s chief commercial officer, who is leading the pitch process, 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.”
The move is part of a strategy to increase spending on its nations and regions content from its current quota of 35% to a new voluntary target of 50% by 2023.
> Channel 4 HQ in Horseferry Road, London