FEARS have been raised that Scottish jobs could be hit if Channel 4 is taken out of public ownership.

The UK Government is planning to sell-off the state-owned broadcaster as Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries claimed "government ownership is holding it back".

But there are genuine concerns that the move could put an end to the channel's regional operations.

Channel 4 launched a Creative Hub in Glasgow in 2019 as part of a strategy to attract and develop talent from across the UK.

And, Culture Secretary Angus Robertson said, the channel had supported 400 jobs in Scotland since 2007. 

He said moves to privatise the channel are "widely opposed in the media sector", with this being apparent through the thousands of consultation submissions sent to the UK Government. 

READ MORE: Petition against Tory Channel 4 privatisation explodes in popularity - how to sign

"Critics have pointed out that privatisation will dilute Channel 4’s focus on creativity and public benefit substituting this for a focus on commercial shareholders," he went on.

“In particular, this will be disappointing news to the independent production sector which has flourished with Channel 4’s help including £200 million for Scottish-based productions and support for 400 jobs since 2007.  

“In Scotland, this decision comes at the very time that the channel has strengthened its content spend, investment, and links to Scottish creative businesses through its creative hub in Glasgow with high-value drama series, such as Screw filmed at Kelvin Hall.” 

The National:

Campaign group We Own It - which stands up for public services being run for people not profit - has said it is worried jobs at the Merchant City, Glasgow, base could go if it is privatised - a concern previously vocalised by Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon. 

Tom Morton, We Own It lead camapigner, said: “Broadcasting is really heavily focused in London and a lot of those media positions and a lot of that money is based in the capital, whereas Channel 4 is one of the few broadcasters which is really pushing its work outside London.

READ MORE: Channel 4 sell-off may be 'revenge' for 'attacks on Boris Johnson', Tory MP suggests

"The channel has creative hubs Glasgow and Bristol and a national headquarters in Leeds. Alex Mahon has already said that privatisation would put this geographic spread at risk. 

The National:

Tom Morton warned that broadcasting is heavily focused on London

"There are small businesses in Glasgow which rely on Channel 4 and privatisation is putting them at risk.

"Privatisation risks around a 35% drop in regional jobs that are dependent on Channel 4.

"This isn’t just about Mary Berry’s paycheque, it’s scaffolders, set partners, electricians, office workers, so it will have an impact on a really broad range of workers in the sector and a lot of Channel 4's spending is big revenue for independent production companies, like Two Rivers Media in Glasgow."

Glasgow had made a pitch, led by broadcaster and writer Stuart Cosgrove, to host the new headquarters of the channel, but lost out at the last stage of deliberations in July as Leeds became the base.

But Channel 4 did confirm it would play host to one of two smaller production and commissioning hubs, with Bristol hosting the other.

Glasgow's hub is now housed inside the historic Garment Factory in the Merchant City, and forms part of the channel's 4 All the UK strategy which has created more than 300 jobs across the regions.

Celebs such as  Matt Lucas and Kirstie Allsop have come out publicly against the privatisation while former Scottish Tory leader and peer Ruth Davidson criticised her own party saying the move was the "opposite of levelling up".

Meanwhile, MP Julian Knight questioned whether the privatisation was "being done for revenge for Channel 4's biased coverage of the likes of Brexit and personal attacks on the PM".