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Channel 4’s decision to rule out Liverpool attacked as “hypocritical”


Channel 4’s decision to rule out Liverpool as a destination for its new headquarters has been slammed as “disappointing and hypocritical” by local mayor Joe Anderson.

The broadcaster yesterday confirmed it will enter advanced negotiations with six cities as part of the process to select its new National HQ and two new Creative Hubs.

Advanced negotiations will now commence with three cities to become the new National HQ – Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. A further three will be considered as the Creative Hub – Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow.

That means Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow and Liverpool have dropped out of the running to become the HQ and Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke have failed to make it as Creative Hub.

Channel 4’s chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan said the chosen six were “best able to deliver against our vision and requirements for the new National HQ and Creative Hubs”.

But Anderson described the broadcaster’s decision as “disappointing and hypocritical”.

He said: “Their values are supposed to be about adding value, creating jobs, opportunities and growth, rather than choosing locations where the BBC or ITV are already.

“This was a chance for them to be truly vibrant and assist parts of the UK that need it the most. And they forgot those values.”

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson

He added: “One of Channel 4’s reasons for not choosing Liverpool was due to connectivity issues which is a welcome confirmation, from a London-based organisation, of the damage a sustained lack of investment in the region’s infrastructure has done to our city by the failure of successive governments to listen to our fears and concerns.

“I have now written to the Minister for Transport to demand a meeting to address this issue.

“The current transport policy for the north is negatively impacting on the fortunes of cities like Liverpool and the potential to grow its economy, which will be even more important to the UK economy post-Brexit.”

Unsurprisingly, representatives of the Manchester and Leeds bids welcomed the decision.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council and deputy mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “This is brilliant news.

“We welcome Channel 4’s decision to shortlist us which we believe is a massive vote of confidence in Greater Manchester and reflects the area’s established track record as a national broadcasting centre, a dynamic region with access to a wealth of creative talent and somewhere capable of supporting both existing and new business operations.

“We look forward to continuing to make this case. This would be a further boost for the area’s growth trajectory.”

Roger Marsh, chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is an exciting step forward for our bid, Channel 4’s analysis has shown we are a good choice and it is now up to us to show we are the right choice for the broadcaster. We will continue to work with all our partners to secure the tremendous prize on offer and we look forward to engaging further with Channel 4 in the weeks ahead.

“I believe firmly that Channel 4 and Leeds City Region share the same ambitions, to celebrate our diversity, nurture creative talent and pioneer new technologies, making us ideal partners.”

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