28th Jun, 2022

Bid for Channel 4 HQ formally submitted today - with Coventry in the running

THE West Midlands has today formally submitted its bid to bring Channel 4 to the region – with Coventry and Birmingham in the running.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) submitted its case to the broadcaster for why the West Midlands should become home to Channel 4’s (C4) new national headquarters.

The move is part of the ‘4 All the UK’ strategy.

C4 is seeking to establish three new creative hubs outside London – the largest of which will become the national HQ.It will consist of offices, a new studio, a base for daily programmes and a new digital production unit.

The region’s bid is focused on potential sites in a number of locations in Coventry and Birmingham.

Coventry City Council leader George Duggins has previously said a bespoke building could be offered at a city location, with planned business park Friargate, next to the train station, being the obvious site.

Each town or city has an opportunity to persuade the channel’s chiefs it has the space, the geographical suitability, the culture and the diversity to become a beacon of UK media.

The bids from all regional contestants will be considered by Channel 4 for the shortlist by May 30.

And a final decision is expected later in the year with the move predicted to take place in early 2019.

Coun George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Coventry is a city at the very heart of the country, with unrivalled transport links that make us the perfect choice for firms looking to relocate and build for the future.

“Our young, diverse population has helped us be named UK City of Culture 2021; we are home to award-winning universities, multinational companies and we are a growing city with a reputation for design and innovation.

“In terms of location, skilled workers, culture and future potential, we are the right choice for Channel 4.”

The WMCA has announced that its key strapline for the bid is ‘Get Closer’.

The key tenets of which are the region’s ‘unparalleled connectedness’ and diversity.

It is the most diverse region in the country (47 per cent BAME population in Birmingham and 34 per cent in Coventry).

And it also draws attention to the refgion’s exciting future as it prepares to host Coventry City of Culture 2021 and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

Laura McMillan, director of operations and legacy at the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “There’s a real ambition in Coventry and it feel likes there’s a real moment going on in the Midlands.

“It’s a really diverse city – and a very young city – with a real energy.

“It’s youthful in its approach to placemaking and creativity, and it’s also a university city. A city of dreams.

“One of the things I’ll be looking at will be how we develop the creative economy of Coventry.

“Television and media is a big part of that.”

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “We want Channel 4 here in the West Midlands, benefiting from, and enabling us to deliver, the ongoing change that is transforming this region into the most exciting in the country.

“From the best-connected region in the UK, C4 will be able to access the broadest pool of talent, ideas and resources from an area with the youngest and most diverse population in Europe, to forge close and genuine links with other key locations and networks while getting closer to those whose stories it wants to tell.

“When you look at what this region has to offer C4 the case for coming here is beyond question.”

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