BAFTA winner backs Hastings Channel 4 bid

David Caffrey with Hastings Borough Council leader Peter Chowney
David Caffrey with Hastings Borough Council leader Peter Chowney

A BAFTA-winning director has given his backing to a bid to bring Channel 4 to Hastings.

As reported by this newspaper last week, Hastings Borough Council is spearheading a major bid to bring Channel 4 to the coast, as the national broadcaster looks to set up three ‘creative hubs’ outside of London.

At the weekend, the Hastings bid won the backing of BAFTA winning director and St Leonards resident David Caffrey, who is best known for his work on hit BBC shows Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty.

Mr Caffrey said: “I love the lifestyle here in Hastings. A Channel 4 Hub would help immensely with the local economy and development of film projects in the south and so happy to support the proposal that I hope will bring television to the town I’m proud to call home.”

The full bid, which is being led by Hastings Borough Council with the support of Locate East Sussex and East Sussex County Council among other groups, has been dubbed ‘Bringing TV Home’ due to the town’s connection with TV inventor John Logie Baird.

Sussex Coast College & University Centre Hastings, University of Brighton and University of Sussex are all also supporting the proposal.

Hastings Borough Council leader Peter Chowney said: “Channel 4 establishing a cultural hub here would provide an incredible boost to the local community, creating opportunities, jobs and making a real difference to the town. Hastings may well be the underdog in the selection process, but we have a great track record for welcoming new business and would relish the chance to show what we can do for Channel 4.”

The bid puts forward a range of arguments in favour of the town, including the relatively low operating and living costs in Hastings as well as its reputation as a centre for arts and culture on the south east coast.

As the Jerwood Gallery’s director, Liz Gilmore, puts it: “Hastings is an astonishing and vibrant cultural hub, home to so many talented artists and creative practitioners including Jake and Dinos Chapman and our patron Sir Quentin Blake. Jerwood Gallery has flourished in and been fed by this creative environment.”