Channel 4 will remain under public ownership after culture secretary Karen Bradley decided to rule out privatization following conclusion of a review – although with a sting in the tail for employees amidst suggestions the broadcaster could be relocated outside London.
The government has long been keen for the network to move in whole or in part from its Horseferry Road headquarters in the capital to a regional base, with the station also operating a small office in Glasgow.
Warning against any eviction however the broadcaster stated that an enforced move would be: “highly damaging to Channel 4’s business model and diminish our investment in the creative industries around the UK and our overall contribution to the UK economy.”
It is understood that Bradley will now launch another review over whether to relocate Channel 4 in order to bring a potential jobs windfall to the likes of Birmingham, Manchester or Leeds.
In a conference speech later today Bradley is expected to say: “A publicly owned broadcaster should have far more than 3% of its permanent staff outside London. We want Channel 4 to have a major presence outside London, stimulating creative and economic activity – including jobs – right across the country.”
Channel 4’s purpose-built £96m HQ was built by Richard Rogers Architects between 1990-94.
The network was thrust into the limelight for all the wrong reasons in the wake of the Westminster terror attack when Channel 4 News mistakenly identified the wrong man as the terror suspect.