Ipswich is bidding to host a new creative hub for Channel 4.
The bid has been put together by creative companies in the private sector along with public sector colleagues. It has been co-ordinated by Ipswich Borough Council, which formally submitted the bid to C4 chiefs in London on the 5th May.
The TV giant is relocating staff to three new centres and the Ipswich bid stresses the impact that a move to Suffolk would have.
More than 20 places are likely to bid but Terry Hunt, Chair of Ipswich Vision, said one of the key strengths Ipswich had is the number of hi-tech and creative companies already established here.
Another is the impact any relocation would have on the town and surrounding area. “If C4 moves to one of the bigger centres it would create a ripple; here it would create an explosion.”
Adam Collier, of Beauty and the Bear film production company, stressed: “Ipswich is a new playground of opportunity that is already on its way to becoming a new creative hub outside the saturated markets of the big cities. Working together with other professionals - along with a newly formed film office, and independent organisations such as Film Suffolk - we now have access to a unique pool of film making talent living in Suffolk.”
More than 50 companies and organisations, along with Ipswich MP Sandy Martin, are supporting the Ipswich bid, centred on its diversity, creative and emerging talent, the importance of University of Suffolk, Innovation Martlesham and Bentwaters Studios along with value for money and available office space along with a wide choice of housing.
The bid contains a foreword from the Mayor of Ipswich, Sarah Barber:
“Coming here would make a major difference – for my town and for my community.
“Ipswich is one of the fastest growing places in the UK, we have England’s newest university on a new-look Waterfront and we are at the heart of a major ICT hub.
“All bidders will talk up the strength of their support, how wonderful they are, how they can offer this and that and everything in between. But I don’t think this is about corporate goals and business models – this is about a gritty and great town that is both steeped in history but is new and ambitious.
“Ipswich is also a diverse community, with more than 60 languages spoken here, different cultures on every street corner. We have a thousand years of history but are also young and ambitious.
“But I can also say that having you here would have a huge impact on us. It would accelerate the change that is building a new and creative Ipswich for the next generation.”
Robert Pacitti, the man behind SPILL Festival, said: “We are known for big skies. Skies that have captivated artists for centuries. A landscape that affords space to think, to grow, to breath. No wonder the cultural industries are thriving in and around Ipswich. Resilient and sustainable. Cultivating new ideas, rich in content, unexpected in form. Impacting locally, nationally and internationally. We are looking to the future and see C4 as part of that future.”
Remi Morrison, of Red Cactus Media, added: “Young people in this region need to believe the creative industries is for them and I think Channel 4 being here would cement that belief. They would see on their doorstep a fantastic outlet for their talent. Channel 4 being in Ipswich would be great for the town not only in job opportunities but would allow creatives in the regions to share and capture stories that inspire.”
The process Channel 4 started highlighted 20 potential locations, including Ipswich, and they will be looking at all the submissions and intend to make their choice later this year.