Metro Mayor Dan Norris, who leads the West of England Combined Authority, has joined forces with Metro Mayors from across the UK to warn that the Government decision to sell off Channel 4 will cost jobs in the region and put at risk the future of popular TV programmes.
Bristol is proud home to a Channel 4 Creative Hub established by the publicly owned broadcaster. The Channel 4 office in Finzel’s Reach, concentrates on factual programming, an area in which the region has a global reputation.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris has campaigned against the plans since they were first floated by the Government at the end of last year.
Explaining why he is joining forces with other Metro Mayors from across the country in opposing the sell off, Mr Norris said: “This is about jobs and about supporting our amazing region. One thing viewers of Channel 4 value is its unique regional content – much of it made in the West of England.”
Half of Channel 4’s programmes are made outside of London and the South East.
Mr Norris continued: “Their base in the Bristol is one reason why our brilliant region is a magnet for talented creative people. The West of England is home to 130 independent production companies.
“I am concerned about the threat to the Creative Hub in Bristol and the knock-on effects across our region’s amazing creative sector. This is a local issue for me but it’s also a national one. I don’t see why local jobs and award winning content enjoyed by the country should fall victim to an ideological sell off.”
The West of England Combined Authority is supporting the creative sector to thrive from a £10 million investment in the growing Bottle Yard Studios, to backing bespoke prop makers and set builders like Mangostone.