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

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 4:00 pm on 10th May 2018.

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Photo of Brendan O'Hara Brendan O'Hara Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture and Media) 4:00 pm, 10th May 2018

I could not agree more. It does not happen often—let us call it a red-letter day—but I believe I am in agreement with the hon. Gentleman. As the leader of Glasgow City Council, Susan Aitken said, our city has

“a high concentration of skills, academic excellence and a highly qualified workforce.”

Although I am the proud representative of Argyll and Bute, I am a proud Glaswegian to my bootstraps. I absolutely agree with both Susan and Stuart. As someone who has spent the majority of their working life making television programmes for the Scottish, UK and international markets from Glasgow, I cannot think of a better place for a vibrant, exciting, innovative and daring broadcaster to set up its headquarters than Glasgow.

Although this is a bid for and on behalf of the city of Glasgow, it is in many ways Scotland’s bid. Scotland’s First Minister gave it her unequivocal backing, when she said:

“the unique character of Glasgow, multicultural, welcoming, hugely creative, and irreverent, is a great fit for Channel 4.”

In an almost unprecedented move, the leaders of all of Scotland’s political parties are united in support of this bid. If that were not enough to persuade Channel 4 to move to Glasgow, the fact that the city of Edinburgh is prepared to set aside ancient rivalries to support Glasgow’s bid should tell Channel 4 that there are now no limits to what it can achieve by setting up its national headquarters on the banks of the Clyde.

Glasgow fits all the criteria like a glove. It ticks all the boxes: population size, proximity to centres, and the level of physical and digital connectivity. Glasgow is already home to BBC Scotland and STV. It boasts of having the National Film and Television School hub, based at Pacific Quay. Channel 4 itself has had a presence in the city for many years.