Brighton and Hove’s creative credentials could be boosted if Channel 4 decides to move part of its operation to the seaside city.
And the odds of that happening have just been slashed, as Brighton and Hove was one of six cities to be shortlisted in the broadcaster’s hunt for two new ‘creative hubs’.
Channel 4 revealed which of the 30 bids had made the cut on Wednesday, naming seven areas in the running to become the home of its new headquarters, and six that were being considered as regional hubs.
The move could bring jobs and an economy boost to the winning cities as the broadcaster branches out of London.
In the bid to become a ‘creative hub’ for the media giant, Brighton and Hove is up against Belfast, Newcastle and Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke.
Nick Juba, CEO of Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, said: “The relocation of Channel 4 presents an excellent opportunity for Brighton, including potentially bringing jobs and investment to the city.
“Brighton is already an internationally-renowned destination for culture and creativity and we are well positioned to be home to Channel 4.
“We look forward to working with the city council to support the next stage of the pitch process.”
Brighton MP Caroline Lucas said: “There’s so much talent in this city – it would be a great move for everyone to have them based here.”
Sarah Springford, director, of Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, said: “Brighton is a brilliant place for Channel 4’s creative hub and would be a perfect fit for the business ecosystem here.
“It would receive a big welcome from Brighton’s businesses.”
Richard Freeman, CEO of always possible, a creative business consultancy, said: “Brighton and Hove’s creative ambition is just beginning. To be considered as a national creative hub by Channel 4 would rightfully recognise the fuse of leading technical, design and artistic talent that this city has to offer.
“The creative industries in small cities often have to work harder to be heard, but in Brighton they punch well above their weight and deserve a much bigger platform. To get this status would be very exciting and significantly boost the local economy.”
Channel 4 announced earlier this year that it was moving to a ‘multi-site model’, scaling down its operation in London to bring prosperity to other areas of the UK.
The city council’s bid highlighted its established success in media, digital innovation and the arts and its unique character as a location known for its quality of life and independent spirit. It also pointed to the excellent transport links the city has nationally and internationally, including its close proximity to Gatwick Airport.
Councillor Daniel Yates, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted by Channel 4 as a potential home for one of two new creative hubs.
“We worked with our creative partners locally, and made a strong submission which focussed on our strengths as a centre for creativity and digital innovation as well as our distinctive character, which we believe aligns well with Channel 4’s brand.
“Brighton and Hove is distinctly different and as we proceed to the next stage of the pitch process, we will work with our partners to demonstrate all our city has to offer.”
Decision makers at the broadcaster are now set to visit each of the shortlisted cities, before announcing the winning bids in October.