Representatives from Bristol’s media, culture, arts, tourism and business sectors have gathered together at City Hall to plan the next steps in Bristol’s bid to become the next home of Channel 4.
Following the announcement that Bristol had made the media giant’s shortlist to become its new national HQ or one of two new Creative Hubs, over 30 delegates gathered to lay out the city’s plans to continue to show how Channel 4 would be good for Bristol and Bristol would be good for Channel 4.
Speaking at the gathering, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Being shortlisted is a great achievement and affirmation of our belief that our city can provide a home of opportunity for Channel 4. Our offer is to join with us on a journey where we can challenge, debate, explore and create, utilising Bristol’s creative tensions and innovative spirit.
“We are a city that is proud of our diversity, our raw new talent, our unorthodox approaches and our embracing alternative viewpoints – things that we see reflected in Channel 4. Our job now is to come together as a city in a spirit of inclusive collaboration to continue our conversations and help Channel 4 better understand us whilst we get to know them better too. We don’t want to just talk at them but we want to debate with them and see what they need. We look forward to welcoming Channel 4 in the coming weeks show them our talent, creativity and the possibilities of our city.”
Debate and discussion were top of the agenda during today’s gathering with delegates being given the opportunity to share their thoughts on how Bristol can come together to give Channel 4 bosses the full view of the city and region’s diverse offer.
One of those contributors, Dick Penny, Managing Director of Watershed, said: “Bristol is a textured and distinctive city which welcomes newcomers. We don’t always shout about who we are but we know how to entertain and inform. Channel 4 will find a kindred spirit in a city which is diverse, unorthodox, pioneering and rebellious. We are a city with a rapidly growing young population which is becoming ever more diverse year by year. We have great strengths but also many challenges. We are ambitious as a city in seeking to address the challenges of 21st century urban living and Channel 4 would be a unique addition to our collaborative cross-sector innovation culture.”
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “It’s fantastic news that Bristol has been shortlisted – Channel 4 would bring huge benefits to our region, and in return we offer a unique combination of technology, innovation, media heritage and cultural diversity.
“Our Invest Bristol and Bath team has worked hard to promote Bristol and we firmly believe the city is ideal for Channel 4. WECA has already provided support worth thousands of pounds to the bid and we have now agreed to invest more towards the next stage.”