Channel 4 to remain publicly owned as Government scraps privatisation plan

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)
Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan (James Manning/PA) (PA Wire)

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan has confirmed the Government has scrapped plans to privatise Channel 4.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the broadcaster will remain in public ownership “but with greater commercial flexibility, increased investment in skills and jobs across the UK” as well as “new production arrangements to support its long-term sustainability and growth”.

It said the decision had been made following discussions with Channel 4 and the independent production sector and that a package of new measures would serve as an alternative to the sale.

The decision to take the broadcaster out of public ownership was announced under the tenure of Ms Donelan’s predecessor, Nadine Dorries, who led the move during Boris Johnson’s premiership.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “Channel 4 is a British success story and a linchpin of our booming creative industries. After reviewing the business case and engaging with the relevant sectors I have decided that Channel 4 should not be sold.

“This announcement will bring huge opportunities across the UK with Channel 4’s commitment to double their skills investment to £10 million and double the number of jobs outside of London.

“The package will also safeguard the future of our world-leading independent production sector. We will work closely with them to add new protections such as increasing the amount of content C4 must commission from independent producers.”

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