Barton Willmore welcomes Glasgow’s shortlisting for new Channel 4 HQ
The broadcaster has pledged to move some 300 staff to new headquarters outside of London by 2019 in a move to improve its UK presence and profile, and it was revealed this week that Glasgow is one of five cities earmarked to become its new regional hub.
Earlier this year, researchers from planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore’s development economics team fuelled the debate by analysing the suitability of each of the contending cities in England, Scotland and Wales across four key areas. These include having: a large, qualified labour force; decent housing affordability and quality of life; an established creative media industry and strong university links.
Glasgow was ranked in the top five in the majority of these categories and, according to Barton Willmore, should be “considered frontrunners for the new HQ” ahead of more established favourites such as Birmingham.
Stephen Tucker, partner at Barton Willmore in Scotland, welcomed the decision to include Glasgow on the shortlist.
He said: “Any new headquarters for Channel 4 would be a significant boost to the Glasgow economy and the City’s media quarter on the Clyde would be a natural destination.
“Channel 4’s selection criteria will very much be based on each city’s individual merit – and the four categories we selected for our research will undoubtedly be critical in any future decision making. We used objective data sources to allow us to rank each emerging candidate city, with Glasgow scoring highly across each category.”
Channel 4 said that its second main base must be in a city with a working population of more than 200,000 people, have a travel time to London of less than three hours, and provide a high quality physical and digital infrastructure. The broadcaster will now embark on a fact-finding tour next month of all the short-listed cities, which as well as Glasgow include Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.
Stephen Tucker added: “Channel 4’s decision making process is so far closely allied with our research findings, so Glasgow now must be in a very strong position in advance of any final decision being made.
“This is a huge opportunity for a city to benefit from one of the biggest names in UK broadcasting and its great news that Glasgow can now genuinely consider itself a very worth frontrunner in the race for Channel 4.”