Channel 4 cuts cities from its national HQ shortlist

Channel 4 has reduced its shortlist of seven locations to just three as it gets closer to selecting the home of its new national headquarters.

Birmingham, Greater Manchester and Leeds have made it onto the final shortlist.

The decision means Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool and Coventry, which had been pushed as an option within the initial West Midlands bid, will no longer be considered for the national HQ.

However Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow remain on a shortlist of three to be chosen for a creative hub.

Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The West Midlands is the natural choice for Channel 4. Our unrivalled connectivity, the diverse and young nature of our population and the strength of our creative and digital economy mean we have a really compelling case.”

The broadcaster is moving around 300 jobs out of London to a main hub and two smaller creative hubs as part of its Nations and Regions strategy, although its London HQ will remain its dominant site.

Jonathan Allan, Channel 4’s chief commercial officer, said: “We have again had to take some very difficult decisions on which cities to take forward to the next stage, but we believe the six cities we have selected are best able to deliver against our vision and requirements for the new National HQ and Creative Hubs.”

There is also disappointment for the six cities which were originally shortlisted for a creative hub – Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent.

Liverpool’s Mayor Joe Anderson tweeted his disappointment about the city missing out. The disappointment was keenly felt because of the city’s identity as a creative and media hub and its longstanding relationship with Channel 4 through soap operas Brookside and Hollyoaks.

Channel 4 has previously said it will select the final locations in October.

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.

More to follow.