Cardiff has been shortlisted as one of seven cities under consideration to host Channel 4's new national headquarters.  

The 4 All the UK strategy, which was launched by the broadcaster in March, included a move to a multi-site operating model - a new National HQ and two new smaller creative hubs will be established in the Nations and Regions in 2019.

Those other cities and regions in the running for the HQ are Bristol, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and the West Midlands.

Leader of Cardiff Council and Chair of the Cardiff bid, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: "I am delighted with today's announcement by Channel 4 that Cardiff has progressed to the next stage in our bid to secure their new National Headquarters and Digital Production Unit. 

"The competition is fierce, but we have an extremely strong bid in place, developed in collaboration with our local creative industry.

Culture, creativity and innovation are all at the heart of the city's development, establishing Cardiff as one of the UK's creative powerhouses, and developing one of the largest creative sectors outside London. 

"Cardiff's growth and regeneration is designed around the needs of that sector, bringing together custom-designed buildings in the centre of the city, located around a new integrated transport hub, which will connect talent here and across the UK. 

"As well as being home to the nation's biggest broadcasters, the Welsh Capital has a strong independent scene that delivers for the UK. Our bid is more than a relocation proposal, it's an offer of a lasting partnership with a city whose creative ambitions and values match those of Channel 4. With 70,000 university students living in Cardiff, and over a third of the city's residents under the age of 24, the creative potential of the city is vast. 

"This city is committed to inclusive growth, and like Channel 4, we want to make opportunity available to everyone and inspire change for all nations and regions in the UK. 

"Everyone involved in the bid to bring Channel 4's National Headquarters and Digital Production Unit to Cardiff is now looking forward to engaging in the next stage of the process and welcoming Channel 4 to Cardiff to present the detail of our unique offer." 

The Welsh capital's pitch - Cardiff 4 All - highlights: 

  • Cardiff's flourishing independent scene and creative sector;
  • The city's track record in media and TV production;
  • Access to a talented, highly-skilled workforce with one of the youngest, most diverse city populations in the UK;
  • A city centre being redesigned around a new media, creative hub and integrated transport exchange, and;
  • The short journey time to London and other core cities - which will reduce even further next year when mainline electrification is completed 

When the Cardiff bid was submitted, Cardiff University Vice Chancellor Colin Riordan said: “Cardiff University is delighted to support Cardiff’s bid to secure the new Channel 4 UK headquarters in the city.

As an institution, we committed to the creative economy of Cardiff by forming the Creative Economy Unit in 2014 which houses the Creative Cardiff network. Creative Cardiff is a buoyant network of almost 2000 creatives which exists to make Cardiff a connected, collaborative and innovative capital of creativity.

"Our world-leading School of Journalism, Media and Culture will relocate to the city centre this year to be situated alongside BBC Wales, creating an industry-academic interface and putting the school at the heart of a vibrant media environment.

"Cardiff is an international city full of talented young graduates, and hosts a thriving film and television industry as well as networks of creatives and experts which makes it a perfect home for Channel 4. They would be welcomed with open, creative arms.”

As well as the seven cities shortlisted for National HQ or Creative Hub, a further six are being considered for Creative Hub only: Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent. 

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.”

As part of the next stage in the selection process, a team from Channel 4 intends to visit the areas shortlisted in late June. The final decision will be made in October.

Find out more about Cardiff's bid here.

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