A bold and ambitious bid to be the home of a national HQ or regional hub for Channel 4 has been submitted by Nottingham. City leaders believe that attracting the national broadcaster to the city would have a transformational effect on the creative economy and offer life changing opportunities for the city’s under 25s and richly multicultural population.
One of the key findings of a recent Nottingham Creative Youth Trends report highlighted the growing desire to work in areas such as TV& Video production and new technologies.
The bid has been led by the city’s promotional marketing agency Marketing NG in partnership with Nottingham City Council and involving the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University (NTU), Nottingham College, Confetti Media Group and Creative Quarter.
The bid, which has received support from many of the city’s creative leaders include Vicky McClure, Shane Meadows and Jonny Owen, details the city’s growing digital and creative sector, which currently contributes more than £4bn to the regional economy and employs nearly 50,000 people.
The city’s excellent connectivity to both London and the rest of the UK is unrivalled and the proposed home for the media giant would be perfectly located by the train station.
Beyond physical location, Nottingham has the highest percentage of properties achieving ultra-fast broadband speeds of all the eligible UK English cities.
The city’s significant media production facilities include Antenna and NTU’s Creative Quarter Campus, and the city is home to a number of thriving independent creative and digital businesses such as Bottletop, Spool, Wellington Films, Hot Knife Digital Media and Simply Thrilled.
Leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor Jon Collins, said: “Nottingham would be the perfect fit for Channel 4, it shares the same sense of rebellion and radical ideas that have always driven and shaped our city. And having Channel 4 here would undoubtedly be a feather in the cap for Nottingham. We have a wealth of talent and creativity in the city which Channel 4 could tap into, and I have no doubt they would thrive here.”
Professor Edward Peck, Nottingham Trent University Vice Chancellor, said: “Channel 4 being in Nottingham would enormously benefit both the city and the company, drawing on and strengthening the already fertile environment of creative industries here and inspiring many more. It would be a bold and inspired choice consistent with the ethos of the channel.”
Prof Shearer West President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Nottingham, said: “Nottingham is already home to the renowned Television Workshop, screenwriters Shane Meadows and William Ivory, award-winning digital production companies, the Playhouse, Dance4, Lakeside Arts and UNESCO City of Literature, all of whom are committed to great excellence. Coupled with our own talent pipeline through the department of Culture, Film and Media, ground-breaking Mixed Reality Lab and multi-award-winning University of Nottingham student run Nottingham New Theatre this city offers a richly creative environment with an edge which would be the perfect partner for Channel 4.”
Brendan Moffett Chief executive of Marketing NG said: “Nottingham is the perfect location for such a creative and innovative business with our young and diverse population. Centrally located with great transport links and the best digital connectivity of any English city.”
Stephen Barker, Chief Executive of Creative Quarter Nottingham, said: “The city’s creative economy is strong and growing fast. Its creative community is inventive and collaborative. Channel 4 would very quickly feel right at home.”
The Nottingham submission also highlights the huge talent pool on offer with over 100,000 students in further and higher education across the city, over a third of which study courses relevant to the creative sector.
The city is also bidding for one of two regional hubs from the national broadcaster.
The criteria for bidding cities are a working population of more than 200,000, travel time to London of less than three hours and quality digital and physical infrastructure.