Stoke-on-Trent to bid for Channel 4 hub

Conservatives have vowed that Stoke-on-Trent will bid to be a regional hub for Channel 4, after the broadcaster announced plans to move 300 jobs out of London.

Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon last night (Thursday) revealed plans to create a new national headquarters which will be home to a new studio, and two new smaller hubs outside London by 2019. The broadcaster will also increase spending on productions in the nations and regions from 35 per cent to 50 per cent of its main channel commissions by 2023, boosting spending outside of London by more than £250m.

Conservative Councillors and Stoke South MP, Jack Brereton, have already strongly urged the broadcaster to consider relocating to Stoke-on-Trent.

Conservative Deputy Leader of the City Council, Cllr Abi Brown said: “The City Council submitted an initial expression of interest to Channel 4 last year, and followed it up with further correspondence with the broadcaster before Christmas. We have been pulling out all the stops to attract Channel 4 to Stoke-on-Trent, and this work will continue.

“Our city is a natural location for Channel 4 to consider. We’re right in the heart of the country, with excellent infrastructure links, affordable land and a have a skilled workforce.

“We have a track record of delivering tailor made development sites for businesses to grow. At Ceramic Valley, our Enterprise Zone has already attracted more than 1,000 jobs, with expressions of interest from scores of businesses. We’re transforming brownfield land and have an economy that is growing.”

Channel 4 has announced that it will still keep its London headquarters, but will use the space left in the building following its restructure for creative and independent companies to use.

The broadcaster revealed that it has made no decisions on where it will locate to. It is inviting pitches to be made from April, with an announcement to be made in the third quarter of the year.