Brighton has been shortlisted by Channel 4 as a potential location for one of its “creative hubs” when the broadcaster moves 300 staff out of London.
The shortlist announced today (Wednesday 30 May) sees Brighton up against the likes of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.
Thirteen towns and cities have been shortlisted by the state-owned broadcaster, with seven also in the running to provide a new national HQ for Channel 4.
Out of more than 30 bids, Brighton is among the 13 as one of six places shortlisted to become home to one of two creative hubs.
The decision was welcomed by Conservative councillor Joe Miller who urged Brighton and Hove City Council to submit a bid after Channel 4 spelt out its plans earlier this year.
He was critical of what he believed was disinterest on the part of the council and delighted when a bid was submitted by the Friday 11 May deadline.
Today Councillor Miller said: “I am delighted by the news that Channel 4 has shortlisted Brighton – and that the Labour administration u-turned after my question at full council when I urged the council to make a bid.
“This is good news for Brighton and Hove, our cultural economy and jobs.
“I hope they view our bid positively on final determination and we see Channel 4 put Brighton and Hove well and truly on the broadcasting map.”
Channel 4 said today: “Over 30 submissions were received in this first round from across the UK.
“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.”
Channel 4 announced its “4 All the UK” plan in March 2018 – a strategy to ensure that Channel 4 serves the whole of the UK and the biggest change to the structure of the organisation in its 35-year history.
It said: “At the heart of the strategy is a major new commitment from Channel 4 to significantly increase its nations and regions content spend from its current quota of 35 per cent to a new voluntary target of 50 per cent by 2023.
“This will result in a cumulative boost of over £250 million in Channel 4’s nations and regions commissioning spend – which will benefit all parts of the UK.
“It reflects both external analysis and feedback from the industry that increasing spend would have the greatest impact on regional economies and jobs.
“To support and catalyse this spend across the UK, Channel 4 will move to a multi-site operating model, establishing a new national HQ and two new smaller creative hubs in the nations and regions in 2019 – home to jobs from across the business including key creative decision makers.
“When this strategy is fully implemented, 300 Channel 4 jobs will be based in the nations and regions and the intention is to grow this further over time.
“Channel 4 executive board member and chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan has lead executive responsibility, working closely with CEO Alex Mahon, for delivering the 4 All the UK strategy – including leading the pitch process for the new creative hub locations.”