Channel Four could be coming to Greater Brighton.
Brighton & Hove City Council, working with the local television sector, Brighton and Sussex universities and Greater Brighton Metropolitan College – all of whom are members of the Greater Brighton Economic Board, submitted a bid to become home to one of Channel 4’s two new creative hubs earlier this month. The bid outlined the city’s distinctive offering as a major digital and creative centre.
In an announcement today (May 30, 2018), Channel 4 confirmed Brighton is one of six cities shortlisted, along with Belfast, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent.
Also revealed was the shortlist for a new national HQ – which comprises of Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and the West Midlands. Each is also short-listed for a creative hub if it fails to secure the main prize of the new headquarters.
The broadcaster will now make visits to each of the areas before making an announcement on the successful bids on October 1.
Councillor Alan Robins, chairman of Brighton & Hove City Council’s tourism, development and culture committee, said: “Channel 4’s move out of London presents an excellent opportunity for our city.
“We are home to hundreds of artists and creative producers and we host more than sixty festivals a year, including two of the most significant arts festivals in the country.
“We have a culture that values innovation, collaboration, social responsibility and pushing boundaries – all values we share with Channel 4.”
In April, Channel 4 launched its ‘4 All the UK’ strategy and invited pitches from cities and regions across the UK. The company plans to open three new creative hubs, including a national HQ, bringing 300 jobs to the regions.
The Brighton & Hove bid highlights the city’s established success in media, digital innovation and the arts, its unique character as a location known for its quality of life and independent spirit, and its excellent transport links nationally and internationally, including its close proximity to Gatwick Airport.
VisitBrighton has said it’s delighted to support the bid, as the city’s reputation for digital innovation and the arts, and its excellent transport links would make it an ideal destination for Channel 4.
Cllr Robins added: “Brighton & Hove has a long-held reputation for doing things differently. We’re known for being a place where people are open to new and different ideas, where creativity and innovation are encouraged to flourish.
“Through our digital infrastructure, ease of connectivity and our national and international reputation, we are in a great position to become home to one of Channel 4’s new creative hubs.”
Lisa Fairbank, Managing Director of Factory Films, said: “Brighton & Hove is home to thousands of talented creatives from the film, TV and online.
“Over the last two decades, more and more television and film production companies – not to mention online stars – have been creating shows that are not just seen on TV in this country, but all over the world, from their bases in Brighton.
“A move by Channel 4 would be the next step on the path to securing Brighton’s international reputation as a hub for creativity.”