Bristol’s reputation as a city for unorthodox creativity makes it the ideal new home for Channel 4, says MP Kerry McCarthy.
There have long been calls for the UK’s media productive to move out of its London-centric bubble to embrace the diversity of the rest of the country.
McCarthy argues now is the time to act to redress the current imbalance as she outlines why Bristol is the top contender in the running to host the HQ of the TV giant
“There is a real buzz about the city these days, which is attracting new creative professionals to Bristol,” says the Bristol East.
“But Bristol’s bid for Channel 4 is also about unleashing the potential of the multicultural citizens who already live and work here, many of whom have unique perspectives and valuable ideas that could feed in to Channel 4 programming.
“With 35 per cent of our population aged under 24, the talent pool from which to draw is huge. Bristol has an international reputation as a city of unorthodox creativity, which fits perfectly with Channel 4’s existing output.”
Writing in a HuffPost blog, McCarthy reflected on the lack of the diversity within creative industries in the UK.
Channel 4 doesn’t make any of its own programmes, but commissions independent television and filmmakers, so -while largely symbolic – its relocation could present an important opportunity to commission more programming outside of London.
McCarthy continued: “There are 130 production companies and services in the city: a substantial creative talent pool that has worked on some of the nation’s best-loved programmes.
“As well as offering Channel 4 a young, creative and multicultural work force, Bristol is also a leader in innovative technology, with academia and commercial businesses coming together in collaborative experimentation, and hubs like Bristol is Open, Bristol VR Lab and the Pervasive Media Studio.
“It is also one of three sites to pilot new 5G technology, which promises super-fast, super-reliable connectivity, and the development of our new creative/ digital quarter around Temple Meads is shaping up to be the biggest regeneration project in Europe.
“Bristol is ready for Channel 4. It’s a natural fit. Let’s make it happen.”