Liverpool and Greater Manchester make Channel 4 shortlist

The broadcaster has invited seven candidates to participate in the second stage of the pitch process for its new national hub, with the two North West bidders joined by Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds and the West Midlands.

Channel 4 will maintain its London base, but open a regional hub, along with two further ‘creative hubs,’ as part of its 4 All the UK strategy. Each of the candidates for the main hub are in the running for these, competing with six further locations – Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent. More than 30 submissions were received, Channel 4 said.

The next stage will include Channel 4 visiting each city for a presentation and Q&A, with further discussions following before selection is made in October this year.

Jonathan Allen, Channel 4’s chief commercial officer, is leading the process. He said: “We’ve been incredibly impressed both by the number of pitches we received and by the high quality of the submissions.

“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.”

At the heart of the 4 All the UK plan is a commitment from Channel 4 to significantly increase its ‘nations & regions’ content spend from its current quota of 35% to a target of 50% by 2023.

This is intended to result in a cumulative boost of over £250m in Channel 4’s nations & regions commissioning spend. When the strategy is fully implemented, 300 Channel 4 jobs will be based in the nations and regions, with the intention to grow that further.

MediaCityUK at Salford Quays is the obvious candidate in Greater Manchester, while Liverpool also believes it has a strong case. The city council is working with developer Capital & Centric to take forward the Liverpool Film Studios project around the former Littlewoods building on Edge Lane, and is also styling the Ten Streets regeneration zone as an innovation district

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “I’m delighted Channel 4 has recognised the strength and quality of our bid and has shortlisted the city for its new home. The bid has been a great team effort and I want to thank everyone who has supported the city to date.

“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.

“There are exciting plans afoot to cement Liverpool’s position at the cutting edge of the creative sector and Channel 4 has a huge role to play in that story. Now that they are coming to visit, I’ve no doubt they will be wowed by what the city has to offer and how they can help shape it.”

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Between Liverpool and Birmingham ……..


Don’t rule out Cardiff or Glasgow.Mediacity has the infrastructure though so although my heart says Liverpool,my head is saying that Salford will probably be too big a chance to miss.Will Channel 4 want to be somewhere different from ITV and the BBC?

By Elephant

Good luck Liverpool!

By Man on bicycle

I hope MediaCity gets it. Businesses like cluster around each other. Hence, Silicon Valley in California.
I suspect they’ll probably choose the Birmingham HS2 interchange as the location of their main regional hub. Salford Quays will probably get one of the smaller ‘creative hubs’.

By Alex B.

It’s got to be Media City. Obvious choice. Why people think it’s got to be Liverpool due to a soap opera which finished years ago is beyond me! Liverpool simply isn’t up there with Manchester yet in that respect. Birmingham….well, no comment!

By Steve

Liverpool has a very large creative and innovative industry, there’s no reason why it CH4 shouldn’t
choose Liverpool, instead of the same old, same old areas.
If they followed certain other posters on this site nobody outside the established centres would benefit and it would be the same set of circumstances people from that area complain about not enough relocating from London, it’s great when they receive it, but heaven forbid if so other city is awarded it, strikes me of pure parochialism.

By Man on bicycle

From a business viewpoint Media City is the logical choice – organisations benefit from clustering. The BBC, ITV, Salford University Media Department and some 200 other business all in one place makes it a very strong contender. However I have say (even as a Manc) that giving it to Salford would begin to create the same problem as we have in London, too much in one location, it is the reason why they are moving in the first place.

If we don’t get it then I would like to see it go to Liverpool.

By Coolmanc

One of the many reasons they are leaving the London “Cluster” Bubble is to seek out a new identity, something which would only be replicated if they moved to Media Cty etc.
To be honest, Media City is not the most inspiring place to be, it just lacks any atmosphere and sense of place in my opinion.

By Lovepool

@Steve, get with it will you, Liverpool has moved on a tremendous amount since those days, with Lime Studios, with its multi production and post-production work, not to mention the constant supply of movies and tv shows being made in Liverpool, making it the most filmed city outside London. We have lots to offer here, and filmmakers are coming from all over the world to shoot and record here along with all the ancillary support artists. When the new Littlewoods Film Studios are completed, it will be a real force in the Industry. We will be a great location for it and you know it.

By Holly Side

Recent report on Salford quays highlighted a need to improve access to the creative talent in… Liverpool! Liverpool scores very highly on all aspects that would make it a seriously good choice for C4 and its staff, and the setup would work well with the Beeb over in Manchester. A counter-balance for each other.

But it will go to Leeds, anyway.

By Mike

Salford no chance CH4 are not sheep.
Liverpool blows it out of the water.,

By Ken

Think all things considered it WILL be Salford Quays….If Liverpool get it, would be great too…

By Schwyz

Too much parochialism on here lets collectively talk about a NW offer and how other relatively local areas can feed off Media City. I suspect in some ways Peel might very much like Liverpool to be chosen as it may finally act as a catalyst for its Liverpool Waters scheme. the one thing the wider NW authorities need to do is have a coherent and joined up transport and infrastructure plan and we are not there yet. Road and rail networks in the NW need a significant amount of investment from which the region will derive massive benefit.

By Bday

Has anyone else pointed out the strange decision to shortlist Cardiff given that the channel isn’t even licensed to broadcast in Wales as they have their own domestic fourth channel, S4C.

By Michael TAYLOR

“Too much parochialism here, so let’s talk about how it should go to… Media city and nowhere else”…

I agree there is too much parochialism. So how about it goes into Liverpool, and then the “feeding” can start to be two-way and symbiotic, rather than one-way in Manchester’s favour and parasitical,

By Mike

lol as if its going to be Liverpool.

By Quays Man

It’s precisely comments such as Quays Man, that provokes antagonism between our two great cities. Grow up man.

By Kenny Kerb

Agree Kenny.None of us will be happy if it goes to Leeds.The North West is the most creative region by a mile in this country and it needs to be somewhere here.

By Elephant

Manchester doesn’t need it, already has the BBC which is far more significant.

By Daz

It’ll go Birmingham or salford in my opinion.

If i goes to liverpool everyone else in the country will moan about the north west bias (similar to liverpudlians moaning about the manchester bias).

Birmingham is an easy middle ground to satisfy everyone.

Salford is the sensible choice but as others say will c4 want to be different?

Time will tell.

By Luke

Mike , interesting point re links between Liverpool and Manchester…..what’s the source of the report you refer to ?

By Graham Burgess

Just one other point ….is the Manchester bid shortlisted…actually Salford……or oxford road ?

By Graham Burgess

Liverpool offers:

– Something “different” to other broadcasters, i.e. ITV and BBC at Media City
– Nonetheless, close enough to Media City to reap benefits of agglomeration (most of the OECD successful “urban areas” are actually corridors of 30-50 miles between cities)
– Existing and growing base of creative industries
– Yes, links to C4; not just Brooookie, but Lime Studios
– Proven/popular filming locations
– Obvious new facilities, i.e. Littlewoods Film Studios

Liverpool is surely exactly the sort of location C4 had in mind as part of its “4 all the UK” strategy. The points in favour of MediaCity are exactly the same points as would point to just staying in London.

By Steel and Glass

Got to be Liverpool

By Frank.

Littlewoods looking good!

By Holly Side

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