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Channel 4: Region makes shortlist of six

Channel 4: Region makes shortlist of six

🕔30.May 2018

Channel 4 has today announced that the West Midlands has been shortlisted to be the home for the broadcaster’s new national HQ.

The broadcaster has shortlisted seven cities and regions to bid for the national HQ or a creative hub, and a further six only eligible for a creative hub, with bosses planning a fact-finding tour next month.

The shortlist for the national HQ comprises Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and the West Midlands. Each is also short-listed for a creative hub if it fails to secure the main prize of the new headquarters.

It follows the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) making a formal bid to bring Channel 4 (C4) to the region earlier in May. The onbid focused on potential sites in Birmingham and Coventry, highlighting the many strengths of the West Midlands under the strapline of ‘Get Closer’.

The WMCA bid had received wide ranging support from stakeholders, major media players, creative organisations and local businesses, as the West Midlands united to demonstrate the wealth of innovation, talent and ambition that exists across the region.

The Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said:

This was the first hurdle we needed to overcome in order to secure the new national HQ for Channel 4 and now we can focus on enhancing our bid further.

Both Birmingham and Coventry offer powerful arguments to Channel 4 in terms of location, 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.

Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “We are delighted that our bid has been shortlisted and we are a step nearer to welcoming Channel 4 to Coventry.

It is great to see that Channel 4 recognises the combination of factors that make Coventry and the West Midlands the perfect place for businesses looking to relocate and build for the future.

Our city offers unrivalled transport links, a young, diverse population and a reputation for design and innovation – and we are, of course, UK City of Culture 2021, which will put Coventry well and truly in the national spotlight and build a legacy for years to come.

We will now work with partners and other organisations around the city and region to strengthen our bid and put forward as strong a case as possible, so we can be named the broadcaster’s new HQ when the decision is made later this year.

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said:

We welcome the news that Birmingham’s bid to become the new home of Channel 4 has been shortlisted. Birmingham is a perfect fit for this move and we look forward to working with Channel 4 to showcase in even greater detail what we have to offer here in the heart of the UK.

We have the digital skills, creative talent and energy needed to make the move a huge success and, with one of the youngest and most diverse populations in Europe, Birmingham is the natural choice for Channel 4.

There will be now a period of further consultation, which will see the WMCA work in partnership with Channel 4 to highlight the benefits of moving to the West Midlands. The final announcement is expected at the end of 2018, with the broadcaster moving to the new HQ in 2019.

C4 is seeking to establish three new creative hubs outside London, as part of its ‘4 All the UK’ strategy. The largest of these hubs will become the national headquarters, consisting of offices, a new studio, a base for daily programmes and a new digital production unit. The WMCA is confident that C4 will recognise that the West Midlands is the ideal choice as it looks to improve its representation across the nation.

The WMCA bid was based around the key strapline ‘Get Closer’:

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