Staffordshire University is an intellectual hotbed of creative industry talent and having a national employer like Channel 4 base itself in our city will be a game-changer – encouraging more students to want to study on our courses and more graduates to stay and start their careers here.
Professor Martin Jones, Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Staffordshire University has given its full backing to a bid for Stoke-on-Trent to house one of two new Channel 4 creative hubs.
The city has today (Friday) submitted its formal bid to Channel 4. The moves are the biggest organisational changes in Channel 4’s 35-year history.
The city's pitch explains how Stoke-on-Trent has the infrastructure, diversity and economic growth to be the perfect location for Channel 4. It points out that Stoke-on-Trent is a media-friendly city, home to many students studying on related courses and with a high number of successful graduate businesses.
Economic experts estimate that a successful bid would double the number of creative companies in the area impacting on graduate retention and increasing numbers of apprentices and skilled jobs.
Staffordshire University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Jones said: "We’re absolutely committed to this bid. Staffordshire University is an intellectual hotbed of creative industry talent and having a national employer like Channel 4 base itself in our city will be a game-changer – encouraging more students to want to study on our courses and more graduates to stay and start their careers here.
"We currently offer over 20 courses directly related to the moving image sector with a further 40 courses in areas linked to it. These courses engage with approximately 400 students each year which means we have a regular supply of talented graduates with the knowledge, skills and industry experience that employers like Channel 4 are looking for.
"We also have a rich pedigree of graduate film and media production companies in our area which would benefit from Channel 4’s relocation to the city. As a leading Digital University, we are especially excited by Channel 4’s plans for a digital production unit focused on creating content for young audiences."
Peter Rudge, chair of Platform and Associate Professor of Motion Picture Industries at Staffordshire University, said: "Platform launched in 2017 as a network to drive the growth of the moving image sector in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. We've been working really hard to be an advocate for the region. Platform also has regular dialogue with national organisations in the sector as well as key companies in London and internationally. It lets the world know that we are a centre for production, talent and innovation."
Channel 4 will notify shortlisted cities on May 30, before inviting them to make presentations in June. The broadcaster will make its final decision on October 1.
Stoke-on-Trent MPs, public leaders, businesses have united to back the bid.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council deputy leader Abi Brown said: "Our offer, including the availability of highly skilled graduates from our local universities as well as their excellent facilities for creative people to grow their talents – plus the number of independent TV and digital companies within easy reach of the city – means we are a very strong candidate."
”Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce chief executive Sara Williams said: "Our location, creativity, history and fabulous people should give Channel 4 the confidence to be brave and come to Stoke-on-Trent. They could make such a difference to all our lives by making us the beating heart of a new and exciting way of creating and delivering content for current and future media platforms that will impact on every single household."
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Public Relations
L600, Flaxman Building
t: +44 (0)1782 294375
m: 07766 520339