Channel 4 has revealed the shortlist of seven cities and regions that could be the home of its new national HQ.
The company wants to move 300 of its 800 staff out of London to a national headquarters and two “creative hubs”.
The seven shortlisted locations could house either the national HQ or a creative hub. They are Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and the West Midlands.
Six more areas are also in the running, but to be a creative hub only.
They are Belfast, Brighton, Newcastle-Gateshead, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent.
More than 30 bids were submitted from around the UK. Channel 4 currently has 30 staff based outside London – 25 salespeople in Manchester and five employees in Glasgow.
Channel 4’s chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan, who’s leading the pitch process, said they had been “incredibly impressed” by the number of submissions and the “high quality” of the applicants.
He said those shortlisted “are best able to meet our vision for our new hubs in the nations and regions”.
The final locations will then be chosen in October, with the new headquarters and hubs due to open next year.
It will have a new studio, which has “the potential to be a base for daily programmes”, said Channel 4. Its current Horseferry Road offices will remain as the channel’s London HQ.
Although 300 jobs will move initially, the channel says it wants that number to grow over time.
The partial relocation is part of Channel 4’s plan, 4 All the UK, which is described as the biggest structural change to the channel since it launched 35 years ago.