Channel 4 Relocation — [Sir Graham Brady in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 3:18 pm on 10th May 2018.

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Photo of Louise Ellman Louise Ellman Labour/Co-operative, Liverpool, Riverside 3:18 pm, 10th May 2018

Tomorrow Liverpool will launch its bid to become one of the new locations for Channel 4. The bid has strong cross-party support from across the city region. The relocation of Channel 4 is long overdue. It recognises the skills and expertise right across the country. Relocation will benefit that national broadcaster at the same time as it regenerates the regions with businesses and jobs. Liverpool is the right place for Channel 4. It meets all the criteria set out, but has so much more. It is diverse: the world in one city. It has people with excellent skills and great enthusiasm. The area has great connectivity, with the excitement of the port.

Liverpool became the European capital of culture in 2008 because of its achievements, but also because of its potential. That pivotal year was indeed a launching pad. Now, in 2018, Liverpool has surpassed all expectations. It is the most filmed city outside London. It has the Liverpool Biennial. Always reinventing itself, it has great expertise in the media and digital industries, and at the Baltic Creative there are ever-expanding, innovative businesses. Liverpool has museums, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts with its unique offer, theatres and much more. It is bursting with enthusiasm and energy, which are matched by people’s expertise.

I have some questions about the process for selecting the new locations of the national headquarters and creative hubs. Will selection be carried out solely by Channel 4, and will the process be transparent? Have there been any prior meetings that might influence the outcome? Those important questions deserve to be answered, because the issue is a critical one. I hope that the Minister will give us reassurances on those important points. The relocation of Channel 4 is a great opportunity for Channel 4 itself, for the regions and nations of the UK, for broadcasting and for Liverpool. I hope that Channel 4 will make the right decision.