Christian TV channel aiming for heart of Plymouth's clubland
A worldwide Christian TV channel is bidding to set up its UK headquarters in Plymouth – in the heart of the city's clubland.
Chiefs at GOD TV say the move will create around 100 jobs and bring 10,000 visitors from around the world every year. And it will resurrect the long-abandoned Millennium Complex based in Union Street, which also has nightclubs, casinos and lapdancing venues.
GOD TV broadcasts Christian material – including church-style services, youth events and music meetings – internationally. It was started in 1995 by Rory and Wendy Alec in their living room and now has bases around the world.
Dean Seddon, from GOD TV, explained: "This is at the very early stages but we want to engage with the people of Plymouth as soon as we can."
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The channel hopes to create a central hub for its production and creative services team and create a live events centre where it can host events for transmission.
Mr Seddon explained: "We already have a team of 35 in Plymouth but at the live events centre we'll be employing stewards admin staff and call centre staff. So we'll have 30 to 40 people coming in during the first nine months but we hope to employ 100 people in the next five years."
It's hoped around 85 events a year will attract at least 900 people at a time. GOD TV is now working with hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions. Mr Seddon continued: "Many people in Plymouth might never be in the building, it's not everyone's cup of tea. But we have a huge American audience. We'll be pitching it like a holiday. People can come to an event in Plymouth, go to the Mayflower steps, enjoy a meal and stay in nice hotel.
"Around a third of the people who come to the live broadcasts will be from the UK and the balance will come from outside the UK."
The Millennium Complex fell into disrepair after it was closed down almost a decade ago.
Last year, a team of entrepreneurs failed in their bid to bring it back into use as a nightclub and music venue. The building started life in 1931 as the city's first purpose-built cinema, the Gaumont.
Ownership is now in the process of being transferred to GOD TV and plans for its restoration are under way.
Mr Seddon said: "It needs a lot of investment. The contracts are about to be signed and we want to start working with people as early as possible.