Glasgow will formally submit a bid to become the new headquarters for Channel 4 tomorrow. The city will challenge rival cities such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Cardiff and Manchester. The proposal is being backed by senior Scottish television executives, the Scottish Government as well as Channel 4’s former head of nations and regions Stuart Cosgrove, who recently spoke to Glasgowist.
The broadcaster, which is government owned but funded chiefly by advertising revenue, said last month it would establish three new hubs in the nations and regions of the UK in an effort to diversify its output. Long resisted by Channel 4 executives, the move will see about 300 posts being relocated, including a number of Channel 4 News jobs, though 500 staff will remain at its central London base.
Glasgow’s backers argue the city is an ideal fit for Channel 4 given its thriving contemporary arts scene, ethnic and urban diversity, and independent broadcasting sector.
Nicola Sturgeon signalled Glasgow’s interest in bidding when she addressed the Edinburgh TV festival in August: “Glasgow is, after all, a major creative industries hub which is already home to two other national broadcasters.”
In a letter to Alex Mahon, Channel 4’s chief executive, the leader of Glasgow city council, Susan Aitken, said the city had “a high concentration of skills, academic excellence and a highly qualified workforce”.
Glasgow has a major BBC production base, STV’s headquarters and a small Channel 4 office that commissions Scottish productions, but it is competing with major cities closer to London that also have established broadcasting industries.
A shortlist of contenders to host the new production hub will be announced on 30th May, with the winning city unveiled on 1st October.