INVEST Essex, has leant its support to Colchester’s bid to host a Channel 4 creative hub and bureau.
Channel 4 released its location brief, 'A Call 4 All', in April and highlighted the need for preferred locations to be in tune with its 'alternative' ethos as well as to have communities that would welcome outreach activities.
Why Colchester is the perfect location for Channel 4
Channel 4 plans to establish three new creative hubs, with one to emerge as a headquarters with a studio, digital and commissioning centre. In time, 300 Channel 4 jobs will be based in the UK's nations and regions and it is anticipated that this will grow further in an attempt to diversify its output. The broadcaster will retain its London base, along with 500 jobs.
"INVEST Essex fully supports Colchester's bid to house a Channel 4 Creative Hub as Colchester has long been a centre for thriving and diverse popular culture with locals of the town including Blur lead singer Damon Albarn, TV host Dermot O'Leary and punk poet John Cooper Clarke. Colchester's facilities for nurturing creative talent such as the SPACE Studios and East 15 acting school, attended by Channel 4's Inbetweeners actor Blake Harrison, are other indicators of what the East of England's most forward-thinking location has to offer the creative scene."
David Rooke, Location Services Director, INVEST Essex
Colchester, Britain's first city and oldest recorded town, is one of the fastest growing places in the UK. It is undergoing a £3bn transformation which is underpinning Colchester's ambitious growth plans and Channel 4 would be a perfect fit.
"With access to Ultrafast Gigabit Broadband, a choice of three different spaces to relocate to, access to a strong creative and digital talent pool and network of TV and digital companies in the locality Colchester's bid to Channel 4 is really compelling."
Adrian Pritchard, Chief Executive, Colchester Borough Council
The University of Essex, which has a campus in the town, is also a partner in the consortium bid.
“At the University of Essex, challenging convention is in our DNA. We are home to the world leading Institute of Analytics and Data Science, directed by the only UNESCO Chair in Analytics and Data Science; our Human Rights Centre is one of the oldest in Europe and best known in the world; and we have the youngest journalism course in the country, linking our strengths in social sciences, data analytics and multimedia journalism.Our Knowledge Gateway science and business park is fast becoming the location of choice in the eastern region for knowledge-based enterprises in science, technology and the creative sector, and we are delighted to back Colchester's bid to host a Channel 4 creative hub."
Lorna Fox-O'Mahony, Deputy Vice Chancellor Designate, University of Essex
Working in conjunction with Colchester Borough Council and University of Essex, a 20-page consortium bid has been compiled, outlining eight key reasons why Colchester is a great location for a creative hub in light of the broadcaster announcing it will be moving much of its production out of London to adopt a 'multi-site operating model'.
A decision on locations will be made by Channel 4 later this year.
How Channel 4 can benefit from locating in Essex
Essex, in general, is proving to be one of the most attractive counties for businesses, thanks to its proximity to London – but without the costs of running a business from the capital – coupled with expanding transport links.
With the Crossrail train project’s Elizabeth Line – running from Shenfield in Essex through to Reading in Berkshire - set to open at the end of 2018 and the county’s airports at Stansted – which launched new flights to New York, Boston and Toronto through Primera Air in April and a new service to Dubai with Emirates this June - and Southend introducing new routes all the time, as well as ports at London Gateway, Tilbury and Harwich, the lure of the county from a business perspective continues to strengthen.
For further information about the business benefits of a Colchester location see here.