Channel 4 shortlists Greater Manchester as it seeks base for new headquarters

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Channel 4 has today announced the shortlist of cities and regions which have been selected to participate in the second stage of the pitch process for the new National HQ and two new Creative Hubs, as part of 4 All the United Kingdom strategy.

While Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent are in the running to be creative hubs only.

Leeds remains fully tuned in to the possibility of becoming the new home of Channel 4, after being shortlisted to become one of the broadcaster's three new national bases.

Broadcaster announced on Wednesday that Liverpool had made the shortlist along with Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds and the West Midlands.

On the shortlist for either the headquarters or a creative hub are: Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, and West Midlands, and to become a creative hub are: Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle/Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield, and Stoke-on-Trent.

"We want to encourage established and new digital production companies to make Norwich their home and encourage Channel 4 to maximise regional spend on commissioning".

The 13 shortlisted candidates have been picked from 30 submissions which were reviewed by Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon, chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan and the executive team. He said the city must remain "hungry" to win and that it had "a compelling cocktail" of reasons to convince Channel 4.

Each location is also shortlisted to become one of three "creative hubs" if unsuccessful in its bid for the top prize.

The bid, which has received support from numerous city's creative leaders including Vicky McClure, Shane Meadows and Jonny Owen, details the city's growing digital and creative sector, which now contributes more than £4bn to the regional economy and employs almost 50,000 people.

Despite the Scottish Government seeking to restart the debate around another independence referendum, Glasgow's bid will not be disadvantaged by constitutional uncertainty, and will be considered based on existing situation, Channel 4 indicated.

"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 United Kingdom". So it's disappointing that Norwich - indeed the whole Eastern region - has been overlooked by Channel 4. I congratulate those cities shortlisted.

"This is a hotly contested bidding competition and to reach this next stage in the process demonstrates Liverpool's pulling power as a location that offers businesses and their employees a great work/life balance", he said.

"Now that they are coming to visit, I've no doubt they will be wowed by what the city has to offer and how they can help shape it".

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