Nicola Sturgeon will urge bosses at Channel 4 to make Glasgow their new home, saying Scotland’s largest city would be the “perfect” place for the broadcaster’s new HQ.
Scotland’s First Minister is to address key figures from the TV industry when she speaks at Channel 4’s Diverse Festival.
The annual event is taking place in Glasgow two days before the city submits its bid to host the broadcaster’s new national headquarters
The channel, which is publicly owned but commercially funded, will not sell its London headquarters but plans to establish a new base where “creative decision makers who are spending money” will be located, chief executive Alex Mahon has said.
The move will be part of the biggest restructure of Channel 4 in its 35-year history with two new smaller hubs outside London also to be established in 2019.
The channel currently has more than 800 staff, but fewer than 30 based outside central London.
READ MORE: Stuart Cosgrove to lead Glasgow’s Channel 4 HQ bid
Some 300 jobs will now be moved to the new locations, with the intention to increase this further over time.
Ms Sturgeon, an MSP in Glasgow, will formally endorse the bid, telling the event: “Glasgow would be the perfect place for Channel 4’s new national headquarters.”
She will add: “This city is already one of the most important centres for broadcasting and TV production anywhere on these islands.
“And the unique character of Glasgow, multicultural, welcoming, hugely creative, and irreverent, is a great fit for Channel 4.
“Glasgow also has a thriving film and television sector. Glasgow’s production community is one of the biggest and most diverse in the UK - specialising across a wide range of genres.
“Our indie sector has provided some of Channel 4’s biggest hits, like Location, Location, Location.
“And, as Channel 4 is well aware, we boast huge strengths in digital media and film production.
“This Scottish Government is doing everything we can to strengthen film and television production.
“Since we took office in 2007, production spend has increased by 200%. And we’re determined to seize future opportunities.
“That’s why this year, we’ve doubled our funding for the screen sector. It’s why Creative Scotland - working with industry and public sector partners - is in the final stages of setting up a dedicated Screen Unit, to ensure public support is targeted as effectively as possible.
“And it’s why we’re joint-funding a new Glasgow base for the National Film and Television School - its first base, outside of the South East.
“As part of that, we’re also funding bursary places, for people from diverse and less advantaged backgrounds.”
While work is under way to establish a specialist Screen Unit as part of arts body Creative Scotland, MSPs on Holyrood’s Culture Committee said on Saturday this work was not radical enough, and a new independent screen agency should be established.
READ MORE: Glasgow to rival London in bid to become media capital