Mayor Dan Norris welcomed former Corrie actor and current Mayor Tracey Brabin to Bristol as the duo call on the Government to u-turn on its plans to privatise Channel 4.
The Mayors have branded the sell-off plan “destructive”, “illogical” and “anti-growth”.
In discussions with Daniel Fromm (Channel 4 head of factual entertainment) and Emily Shields (commissioning editor) Mr Norris and Ms Brabin discussed why the broadcaster should be given time to implement their alternative plan to privatisation doubling the number of staff working outside London, including in Bristol and Leeds, with thousands more in both regions’ wider creative sectors.
Metro Mayor Norris said: “If there is one thing Ms Truss is good at, it is U-turning. So I call upon her to sound the retreat on this ill thought through plan and instead act to safeguard one of Britain’s cultural crown jewels. The plan to sell off Channel 4 to the highest bidder is bad economics – directly threatening both the Creative Hub in Bristol and the thousands of jobs in my region’s amazing creative sector.“
Mayor Tracy Brabin said: “I am lucky to have worked in the creative industries for many years, and because of that experience I also understand the positive impact that a broadcaster like Channel 4 has on economic growth, skills, training, employment and regeneration. Channel 4 is made for us, at no cost to us, and the current model is working. We have a stake in the channel, and at present, the channel has a commitment to the things that matter to us. Privatisation risks losing the things that make Channel 4 so precious to us and risks stifling economic recovery.”
Experts warn cuts to one in three regional jobs could take place under a private Channel 4, and 60 indie production companies could go bust.
Tracey Brabin played Tricia Armstrong in Coronation Street from 1994 to 1997. She is currently Mayor of West Yorkshire.