Glasgow to rival London in bid to become media capital

Glasgow is to bid for the new HQ for Channel 4
Glasgow is to bid for the new HQ for Channel 4
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Glasgow is thought to be making a bid to rival London as the UK’s media capital after it was revealed that they will pitch to host a new Channel 4 HQ.

Scotland’s biggest city has announced it will attempt to lure Channel 4 north of the border by offering to host a new television headquarters for the channel.

As part of the bid, the city is hoping that the success of BBC and STV in the city will act as proof that Glasgow can host media outlets.

Currently both STV and the BBC have bases on the Clyde.

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The leader and deputy leader of Glasgow’s city government, Susan Aitken and David McDonald, have already written to Channel 4 executives saying they will make “a viable and persuasive bid, reflecting our standing as one of the most culturally, socially and ethnically diverse city regions within the UK and position as a leading centre for the arts and media”.

However, according to the Herald, the city will need to beat other expected bids from Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester who are also looking to offer a HQ.

Channel 4 earlier this month said that it would create a second national HQ and two smaller hubs somewhere in the “nations and regions” in a bid to become less “London-centric”.

In total, more than 300 peopl will be employed and overseeing half of its output, amounting to some £250m of TV commissioning every year.

The move comes following an order from the UK government.

And a number of industry higher-ups have backed the move which will offer more jobs for Scotland ahead of a new BBC channel.

Writer and Broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove, who launched Channel 4’s first offices north of the border, told the Herald that he saw Glasgow as a good fit for the broadcaster

He said: “Glasgow is a unique city - bold, innovative and with a heart - in many respects it shares the same values as Channel 4 and is its ideal home.”

John McCormick, a former BBC executive who chairs the Screen Sector Leadership Group, said Scottish Government investment in film and TV meant it was “the perfect moment for Channel 4 to build on its long and deep association with Glasgow and Scotland”.

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Claire Mundell, founder and creative director of Synchronicity Films, said: “Glasgow’s rich cultural heritage, wide-ranging talent pool and diverse population make it a natural home for an HQ outside London. “Glasgow already has a strong independent production sector ranging across all genres with huge potential for growth, especially in high-end scripted television. With locations to die for, incredible writing talent and experienced creative producers, Glasgow is well poised to contribute to the global boom in tv drama.

“Creativity in general flourishes here in all arenas - film, theatre, music and visual arts, which makes for a stimulating environment in which to live and produce great television.”