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Brum makes 4’s top 3

Brum makes 4’s top 3

🕔23.Jul 2018

Birmingham has been shortlisted but Coventry loses out as Channel 4 confirms it is to progress advanced negotiations with three cities across the UK as part of the process to select its new National HQ.

Greater Manchester and Leeds join Birmingham in the final pitch for the national HQ.

The announcement follows the second stage of the pitch process over June and July in which teams from Channel 4, including Chief Executive Alex Mahon, Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Allan and Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Dan Brooke, visited 13 shortlisted cities and regions for presentations and discussions.

A further three cities fare being considered as a Creative Hub only. They are: Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow.

The region had originally put forward three sites in Birmingham, Coventry and Dudley. Two had made it onto on the shortlist.

Birmingham will face tough competition from cities with established media communities and infrastructure, but those behind the bid have gained increasing confidence as the process has developed.

Channel 4 says that each city was carefully assessed against Channel 4’s vision and objectives for the National HQ and Creative Hubs, which was set out as part of the pitch entry guidelines.

Channel 4 will now enter into detailed discussions with all six selected cities over the summer, a process which will be led by Channel 4 Executive Board member and Chief Commercial Officer, Jonathan Allan. The locations for the new National HQ and two Creative Hubs will be announced in the autumn.

Leader of Birmingham city council Cllr Ian Ward tweeted:

Whilst West Midlands Mayor Andy Street also took to twitter:

Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry city council, said:

We are naturally disappointed at today’s announcement.

What does not change is that our city offers excellent transport links, a young, diverse population and a reputation for design and innovation which makes us an attractive option for potential investors along with our central location that means we are within two hours of 40 million people.

Although we believed Coventry was the perfect choice, if it wasn’t to be us, the next best result is for Channel 4 to select a location in the vicinity. Therefore, it is good to see Birmingham is still in the running to host Channel 4 and we wish them well in their endeavours.

But the future for Coventry is very bright and we continue to look forward to our Year of Wellbeing in 2019, our European City of Sport status next year and of course being UK City of Culture in 2021 as well as being named home of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre.

Coventry city council also reacted on social media:

Channel 4’s Jonathan Allan said:

Our visits to the 13 shortlisted cities over the last month were incredibly inspiring and I’d like to thank all of those involved for the huge amounts of creativity they demonstrated and the excitement for Channel 4 and what we could achieve together.

We have again had to take some very difficult decisions on which cities to take forward to the next stage, but we believe the six cities we have selected are best able to deliver against our vision and requirements for the new National HQ and Creative Hubs.

The National HQ and Creative Hubs are only one part of our ‘4 All the UK’ plan, which has at its heart, a commitment to significantly increase our Nations and Regions contend spend by £250 million over the next five years. We therefore look forward to working closely with all those cities and regions that have been involved in the pitch process, as we look to catalyse that spend and support digital and production companies right across the UK.

Andy Street added:

Channel 4 has today confirmed Birmingham is on the final shortlist to be the broadcaster’s new national HQ. Clearly, this is excellent news and I would like to thank everybody who has worked with us on the bid.

As a region, we encouraged and supported a bid by both Birmingham and Coventry, so it is disappointing that the latter has not made the shortlist. Everyone in Coventry should be proud of the confidence and energy of their efforts.

Now, it is important the whole region gets behind the Birmingham bid. If we are successful in attracting the HQ, the benefits will be felt across the West Midlands.

The West Midlands is the natural choice for Channel 4. Our unrivalled connectivity, the diverse and young nature of our population and the strength of our creative and digital economy mean we have a really compelling case for Birmingham.

Now we up our game and find another gear as we continue discussions with the broadcaster ahead of the final decision.

The WMCA bid highlights the strengths of the West Midlands, under the strapline of ‘Get Closer’: connectedness to talent, ideas and resources, its youth and diversity, and region’s run of success such as Coventry UK City of Culture in 2021 and Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

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