West Midlands submits bid for Channel 4 relocation

Channel 4 headquarters

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WMCA expect a relocation to generate up to £5bn and 800 jobs in the region

A bid for broadcaster Channel 4 to relocate to the West Midlands has been officially launched.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) estimates a move would boost the region’s economy by £5bn over 10 years.

A government consultation is considering if the broadcaster should move out of the capital.

Metro mayor Andy Street said Channel 4 would “thrive” in the region due to its youthful population, and could create up to 800 jobs.

Sites have been proposed in Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and Dudley.

A consultation into the broadcaster’s future was launched after the government carried out an 18-month review of the publicly-owned channel, which has more than 800 staff but fewer than 30 based outside central London.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said “the benefits of this national asset to be spread far and wide, not just in London” although Channel 4 has said a “substantial relocation would be highly damaging”.

Launching his region’s bid, Mr Street said: “The West Midlands, as the youngest, most diverse region, would naturally help in the journey [Channel 4] are already taking.”

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Mr Street said he is “very confident of our credentials”

He described the West Midlands’ transport links to London as “one of our ace cards” and cited the success of other relocations to the region including HSBC and HS2 headquarters.

Mike Bradley, chairman of the Campaign for Regional Broadcasting Midlands, said: “The West Midlands is the ideal location for Channel 4,” adding a relocation to the region would “place Channel 4 right at the heart of its audience.”

The government said it would consider all bids with the broadcaster “to ensure that Channel 4 maximises its delivery of public value”.

Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40506043