Channel 4 reveals shortlist of cities for national HQ

Channel 4 has revealed the shortlist of cities it is considering relocating to as part of its plans to have more people based outside of London.

Seven areas have been shortlisted for the national headquarters or creative hub – Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and West Midlands.

Six other cities have been shortlisted for the creative hub – Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent.

Although the so-called national headquarters will be secondary to Channel 4’s London HQ, cities from across the UK are keen to be chosen.

Channel 4 agreed to move 300 jobs out of London after sustained Government pressure. The roles will be based at a national HQ and two smaller hubs as part of the broadcaster’s Nations and Regions strategy.

Each of the shortlisted cities will participate in a second stage process – which will include Channel 4 visiting each city for a presentation and Q&A.

Following this, Channel 4 will engage in further discussions with cities and regions as necessary, before selecting the final locations in October 2018.

Channel 4’s Chief Commercial Officer, Jonathan Allan, 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.”

It has said the national headquarters will be placed somewhere with a working population of more than 200,000 people, have a high level of physical and digital connectivity, and a travel time to London that is below three hours.

It has also highlighted five key considerations – demography and diversity, availability of talent, local connectivity, travel links to London and its creative hubs, and the suitability of available office space – that the successful bidder will perform strongly on.