Published date 23 June 2021

Metro Mayor tells Government “No Deal” on Channel 4 privatisation

Metro Mayor Dan Norris

Metro Mayor Dan Norris has warned that the West of England’s creative sector could be at threat from government plans to privatise Channel 4.

The broadcaster, which is currently funded by advertising but publicly-owned, opened its new Creative Hub in Bristol in 2019.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “This proposal threatens to rip out the heart of Channel 4 – a much-loved broadcaster which has only just set down roots in the West of England.

“Channel 4’s bosses have warned that some of its programmes could be risk if it is privatised. I am extremely concerned by how this could impact people working at the Creative Hub in Bristol and those from our region’s excellent creative sector. All of this is at threat of being switched off if the Government presses ahead with privatising the channel. Channel 4 also has a key role to play in promoting and encouraging diversity and much of its valuable content may not make commercial sense.

“I have written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, to express my grave concerns and seek assurances that this farcical idea is nipped in the bud before it causes any further harm to our creative sector, which has already suffered enough though the pandemic.”

Bristol was selected to be one of two Creative Hubs from more than 30 cities across the UK which pitched to become a new base for the national broadcaster.

The new Creative Hub in Bristol is a home for key creative decision makers supporting Channel 4’s relationships with the production sector, particularly focused on genres with strengths in the south west of England and Wales.

Commissioning departments represented in the new Creative Hub in Bristol include: Daytime, Drama; Factual and Popular Factual. Creative Diversity also has a presence in Bristol to help nurture and develop on and off-screen talent.

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