The Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU) has written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, to urge her to reconsider the Government’s plans to privatise Channel 4.

The letter is signed by Bectu, Equity, the National Union of Journalists, the Musicians’ Union and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. Read the letter here.

The FEU says it is “deeply concerned that the sale of such a profitable network will have major consequences for the UK broadcasting landscape, and will deal a major blow to the UK’s creative workforce, who are critical to the success of the broadcasting sector.”

Independent analysis by Ernst and Young LPP indicates that the creative industries could be £2 billion worse off under privatisation, as well as 2,400 jobs in the creative industries being at risk and at least 60 production companies at risk of closure.

The unions are also arguing that privatisation would also jeopardise “the significant contribution the broadcaster makes to the Government’s levelling up agenda” via investment spread across the nations and regions.

FEU President and Head of Bectu, Philippa Childs, said: “Channel 4 costs the UK taxpayer precisely nothing, yet gives us a thriving independent production sector, thousands of jobs and world-renowned, innovative content.

“Selling this much-loved and entirely self-sustaining public service broadcaster will deal a major blow to the creative industries, who were among the hardest hit by the pandemic and continue to face a chronic skills shortage, and have major consequences for the UK broadcasting landscape.

“On behalf of our over 120,000 members and the UK’s creative workforce, we call on the Secretary of State to keep this uniquely British institution in public hands. Industry, workers and the public have made their opposition clear, it’s now time that the Government listens.”


Jon Creamer

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