Liverpool misses out on Channel 4

In a decision branded “disappointing and hypocritical” by Mayor Joe Anderson, Liverpool will not be the home of Channel 4’s new national hub, leaving Greater Manchester the North West’s sole representative in a shortlist of six regions.

Anderson first broke the news via Twitter, saying that the bid had been impacted by the fact Liverpool was “not connected transport wise”.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram also tweeted about the “disappointing decision” and argued Channel 4’s move would have “strengthened our case to connect Liverpool via HS2 and West/East rail improvements”.

Liverpool had been one of seven regions across the UK shortlisted to house a new national hub, alongside Greater Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, and the West Midlands.

Channel 4 has confirmed this has been whittled down to three: Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.

It had also been shortlisted for a creative hub, with six more regions – Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Stoke-on-Trent. Liverpool has also missed out on this hub, which has again been cut to three: Bristol, Cardiff, and Glasgow.

A final selection is expected to be made in October this year.

In a statement, Anderson said: “Today’s decision by Channel 4 is disappointing and hypocritical. Their values are supposed to be about adding value, creating jobs, opportunities and growth, rather than choosing locations where the BBC or ITV are already. 

“This was a chance for them to be truly vibrant and assist parts of the UK that need it the most. And they forgot those values.

“The city’s plans for developing its flourishing TV and Film sector remain on track, not least in creating one of Europe’s biggest studios at the former Littlewoods site. This bid has been a force for good as it has helped serve to strengthen relationships between the education and creative sectors and forge new partnerships which will serve Liverpool well over the coming years and decades.

“I would also like to thank everyone who worked on the bid and all those who supported it so enthusiastically.

One of Channel 4’s reasons for not choosing Liverpool was due to connectivity issues which is a welcome confirmation, from a London-based organisation, of the damage a sustained lack of investment in the region’s infrastructure has done to our city by the failure of successive governments to listen to our fears and concerns.

“I have now written to the Minister for Transport to demand a meeting to address this issue. The current transport policy for the north is negatively impacting on the fortunes of cities like Liverpool and the potential to grow its economy, which will be even more important to the UK economy post-Brexit.

“In light of the billions being invested to better connect London, it is time Westminster and Whitehall wake up to the realities of overlooking the north and how it is limiting the future growth of UK plc.”

Greater Manchester remains the sole region in the North West in the running, with MediaCityUK at Salford Quays the obvious candidate for new facilities.

The move forms part of the channel’s 4 All the UK plan, which 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.

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HS2 factor or lack of it definitely affecting Liverpool’s chances of more investment again. Another lack of vision from our leaders again in not shouting loud and long enough when this omission was made from the original plans.

By Liverpolitis

The correct response is to launch legal action against both this (judicial review) and HS2 (faulty data and unjustifiable decisions leading to consequential losses). It has been all along.

The HS2 project is directly culpable for the loss of the HQ. The claim that Liverpool is poorly connected versus remote Cardiff and Bristol and distant Glasgow is nonsense.

By Mike

Liverpool never made sense seeing as it’s in the north west and there’s only one winner here.

I would love it to come to Salford quays but I can almost guarantee it’ll go to Birmingham. The whole point of the move (apart from money) is diversifying the country’s economy and there’s no point making another London I suppose…

By Luke

Not to mention them groovy cats at c4 won’t want to follow the crowd…

By Luke

Mike is right.Access to Liverpool is easier than Glasgow because it is nearer to London.HS2 will not reach Manchester or Leeds for another 100 years so I doubt that is a genuine reason.This is clearly a political decision and the only place with the smell of a Tory is the West Midlands.Leeds and GM have been thrown in as decoys.Manchester versus Birmingham in a fair fight would be a knockout for Manchester in the first round.I doubt that this will be a fair fight.

By Elephant

Likely to be Brum – but only SQ / Manchester can give Birmingham a run for its money. Like the BBC move though – the real decisions on programme making will still be made in London. It’s window dressing “throwing the northern dog a bone”

By A Developer

I did say it wouldn’t be Liverpool last time, but everyone got salty about it.

I think it will be Brum.

By Quays Man

It should be Leeds. Best place for the employees to live, most cool hipster image to suit c4.

By Cane

It now seems obvious from the start that the final conclusion to this would be the” same old same old”. It was supposed to be away from current traditional media enclaves but looks like it will end up in one that already has a media presence of tv production/broadcasting.
This would have been important for the likes of Liverpool, to help give it a voice of it’s own and a platform to promote itself on a national and international stage. Now we have to look forward to the titbits provided by our regional and “just up for the day” national types, who state the same old stereotypical anecdotes and gallery of derelict buildings and wasteland, whilst Liverpool is a thriving, living, friendly city with lots of ambition.

By Disillusioned with it all!

I’m afraid it’s been obvious for some time that C4 will go to Bham: it will be cited by a crippled post-Brexit govt as the reason for pushing ahead with HS2, which will then never go further than B’ham due to costs & economic ruin. As others have commented, Mcr and Leeds are there just as decoys and a token gesture to the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ or whatever its being called this week.

By MancLad

Anyone know if Steve Rotherham is out of bed yet?

By Hokey Cokey

So it is not all bad news – several production companies allready operate out of the Mersey region most obvious is Hollyoaks – remember most Channel Four productions are outsourced anyway – Channel Four move was mainly admin and some management but the creativity probably most important bit is mobile they go where the talent and operations are easy. Liverpool Council and Liverpool Vision have been are notorious for making bad decisions based on marketing concepts and not strategy

By Rich

It’s a decision that actually doesn’t make sense! So it’s probably a political decision. Liverpool has all the skills, and remains one of the major film and TV production locations in the UK. It’s about to get major film studios. Put that with the many writers, producers……..and remembering Liverpool was effectively the ‘birth place’ of Channel 4. Birmingham got the Commonwealth Games (a surprise to them) without having a detailed plan (a political decision). It’s ANOTHER anti Liverpool decision. Not a whinge, it just happens too many times. But it remains, by quite some distance, the best city. I thought Channel 4 was supposed to be edgy and creative?

By Billy

a tinge of bitterness in Mayor Anderson’s comments?

Perhaps that concussion still knocking around on merseyside is contagious…….

By Cyril

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