Stoke-on-Trent not further shortlisted for Channel 4 creative hub

Published: Monday, 23rd July 2018

Stoke-on-Trent has not made it through to the final stages of a competition to become a new home for Channel 4.

The broadcaster made the decision today (Monday) and has reduced the number of shortlisted cities left in the process.

The decision follows a visit to the city by bosses from the broadcaster last month. They met a team of film and creative sector, civic, business and education leaders who explained the many benefits that a creative hub would have for the city and for Channel 4.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council deputy leader Abi Brown said: “The team that visited the city said they enjoyed coming to Stoke-on-Trent, that our presentation and bid was strong and that they are impressed with our growing creative sector.

“However, they felt that our creative infrastructure isn’t sufficiently advanced to meet all the requirements they need to hit the ground running in six months’ time.

“We are hugely disappointed, but the whole bidding team could not have produced more of a compelling pitch to put forward our city’s case.

“Channel 4 have told us that they want to continue to work with us, to help to develop our creative sector. This is a huge accolade and a great credit to the work being done by so many creative professionals who call Stoke-on-Trent their home. So in looking to the future, there are strong positives that we can all be proud of.

“We have come such a long way over the last three years, and the perception of our city is changing nationally. Our profile and aspirations are rightly rising, and the fact that we have bid – and come so far – in such a nationally competitive spotlight shows our city’s confidence and increasing profile. Let’s not forget this is a national competition that has brought out the best in our city, we have all done so well, the feedback that we have received reinforces this.

“On behalf of all of the bid partners I’d like to thank everyone in Stoke-on-Trent and wider region who came together to back the bid and show their support and confidence in our city.”

Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for education and economy, added: “We know that this process is hugely competitive, and there can only be very few winners. We’re disappointed because our city has so much to offer. But we wish those cities left in the competition the best of luck.

“We have been able to tell Stoke-on-Trent’s story to a major national broadcaster and the wider UK. We’re a city with strong forward and powerful momentum. This will now give us the opportunity to take other exciting projects for the city forward. We are being considered by Heathrow Airport for one of its national logistics hubs, and we have secured HS2 services that will further enable the transformation and growth of our infrastructure and economy.

“We’re a city that is open for business and have a strengthening ambition for sustainable economic growth.”

Channel 4 is creating a national headquarters and two creative hubs outside of London. Stoke-on-Trent has bid to become one of the creative hubs. Channel 4 will make its final decision on 1 October.

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