Cardiff on C4 short­list as pos­si­ble site for new HQ

Western Mail - - NEWS - LAURA HARD­ING news­desk@waleson­

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.

Philip Toscano

> Chan­nel 4 HQ in Horse­ferry Road, Lon­don

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