Channel 4 relocation outside London 'could have transformative impact'

Channel 4 relocation outside London 'could have transformative impact'

Relocating UK broadcaster Channel 4 outside of London could have a "much greater transformative impact" a Tory MP has suggested.

That MP, Jack Brereton told others in the Commons that moving the broadcaster's headquarters away from the capital could significantly boost prosperity across a whole region.

Relocating, he added, would help re-balance the institutions of broadcasting within the UK "to reflect much more effectively the diverse communities in our constituencies across the country and to bring a fresh perspective".

He said: "We are currently seeing a brain drain of skills and employment opportunities from across our country towards London."

He added: "I am sure that there are many programmes that colleagues may not want to admit to watching in this Chamber but they enjoy them all the same. But the value of Channel 4 and the contribution it makes could have a much greater transformative impact if it were to relocate outside of London.

"Being in public ownership means that Channel 4 has a responsibility to the nation not just in the innovative and boundary probing programming that it rightly produces, but also in the way in which it is organised and run.

"Truly it must be operated for the benefit of all parts of our country, throughout all the nations and regions that make up the UK."

Mr Brereton cited the effects of the BBC's relocation to Salford Quays with the creation of MediaCityUK.

He said: "The wider regeneration that comes from such investments to create a much wider ripple effect than just the transfer of headquarters, staff and offices. With the right location such moves can significantly boost the prosperity across a whole region and help to support thousands of jobs."

To decide the new location, he suggested there could be an open competition allowing interested areas and sites to put forward their case.

His Channel 4 (Relocation) Bill, which would require Channel 4 to relocate its headquarters outside London, was earmarked for a second reading on Friday October 26 next year, but is unlikely to become law due to a lack of parliamentary time.

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