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Norwich submits bid to attract Channel 4 ahead of deadline

PUBLISHED: 17:07 11 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:58 12 May 2018

Channel 4 headquarters in Horseferry Road, London. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA

Channel 4 headquarters in Horseferry Road, London. Picture: Philip Toscano/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Norwich has submitted its bid to become one of the new homes of Channel 4 outside London, ahead of today’s deadline for submissions.

The city council has been working with a group of creative, education and business leaders on a proposal which it hopes will attract the station to set up one of its two “creative hubs” in Norwich.

Channel 4 has been asked by the government to better reflect the regions outside of London, and announced earlier this year it will set up a second base outside the capital, as well as two programme-making centres – for which Norwich believes it could be in the running.

All bids were due to be submitted by Friday, and the shortlisted cities progressing to the next stage will be informed by May 30. A final decision is scheduled to be made on October 1.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council confirmed it was bidding to be a creative hub, adding: “We’ve been working with partners across the city, including the two universities as well as the creative and cultural sectors to develop our bid document.

“We believe Norwich is well placed to offer a very strong pitch for the city to be a stand-out choice as a creative hub for Channel 4.”

Birmingham is the favourite to be the second main base for Channel 4, though bids were also expected from Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff, Hull, Glasgow, Bristol, Newcastle, Salford, Stoke and Sheffield.

Some 300 of Channel 4’s 800 current staff are expected to be transferred out of London.

In the initial bid letter submitted to the government in May 2017, city council leader Alan Waters made the case for Norwich as having “one of the strongest creative offerings in the country”, as England’s only Unesco World City of Literature, and being home to England’s National Centre for Writing, the UEA’s renowned creative writing course, and a host of existing TV and media companies.

Confirming earlier this year that the city would make a bid, he said he believed Norwich could make “a compelling offer [with] a very good chance of being successful”.

He added: “When Channel 4 was launched it was a sparky, edgy, experimental TV channel. We also have those qualities and that creativity in the city.”

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