Midlands on shortlist for Channel 4 national HQ Birmingham and Coventry move closer to winning bid
CHANNEL 4 has named Birmingham as one of its candidates to become the broadcaster’s new headquarters.
The second city and Coventry made it to the shortlist of potential new homes for the national broadcaster.
It means the West Midlands proceeds to the next stage of the contest to choose the site of Channel 4’s planned National HQ.
The region’s leaders, including West Midlands mayor Andy Street, will make a presentation to Channel 4 managers in June, and the broadcaster’s final decision will be announced in October.
But the West Midlands faces stiff competition, with Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool also on the shortlist.
Channel 4 is to open a “national headquarters” to operate alongside its existing headquarters in London, and two smaller hubs.
If the West Midlands fails in its bid to host the headquarters then it could potentially host one of the hubs instead.
Channel 4 says 300 moved out of London.
The national headquarters will include a state-of-the-art studio that will be used to produce Channel 4 programmes and events as well as live broadcasts.
There will also be a new digital production unit to create short digital content targeted at young audiences.
Channel 4 News also plans to coanchor from outside its existing London studio every night, opening a newsroom in a city outside London.
And the broadcaster will increase the amount it spends commissioning programmes made outside London by £250 million.
This is expected to support up to 3,000 additional production jobs. jobs will be
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), which is chaired by the mayor, drew up a bid focusing on potential sites in Birmingham and Coventry, highlighting the strengths of the West Midlands under the slogan of “Get Closer”.
Mr Street said: “Both Birmingham and Coventry offer powerful arguments to Channel 4 in terms of loca- tion, talent and the youth and diversity of the population and I am pleased this has been recognised.
“Now the hard work really starts as we begin negotiations in earnest to develop the most compelling case possible to the broadcaster.”
A decision on the site of the new national headquarters, and the two smaller “hubs”, is expected on October 1.
Brighton, Newcastle & Gateshead, Belfast, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent have also been shortlisted as potential hub locations – but they are not in the running to become Channel 4’s National HQ.
Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and Citzen’s Khan star Adil Ray have backed the West Midlands
Both Birmingham and Coventry offer powerful arguments
bid, which is supported by the region’s arts and cultural organisations, local authorities and MPs.
Business leaders in Greater mingham also welcomed announcement.
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “It’s good that we have passed this first hurdle, although the strength of the region’s offering means that it should no longer be a surprise.
“The Chamber, our members and the whole business community is very excited by the opportunity and we all look forward to playing our part in the next stage of the process that we hope will ultimately see C4 HQ here in the region.” Birthe
Mayor Andy Street
> Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight supports the bid > Channel 4 has been told it must create a new national headquarters outside of London