West Midlands Combined Authority submits its case to become the home of Channel 4: Leaders comment from across the West Midlands
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has submitted a response to the Government’s consultation on Channel 4, Increasing the Regional Impact of Channel 4 Corporation.
The Government’s consultation sought views on how Channel 4 could most effectively contribute to regional economic growth, stimulate creative industries outside the capital, and better serve regional audiences.
The West Midlands’ response highlights how it would be an ideal location for Channel 4, if the broadcaster does relocate its headquarters outside of London. The submission also outlines the substantial economic and cultural benefits that the broadcaster would bring to the West Midlands.
Cllr Bob Sleigh, Leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Deputy Mayor of the West Midlands, commented:
“By working in close collaboration with each other and by pooling our strengths, the West Midlands continues to welcome a wave of new investment. The entire region – from public bodies and universities to the digital and creative sector and local businesses – is committed to bringing Channel 4 to the West Midlands as an invaluable part of our wider cultural, social and economic strategy.
“The local economy is thriving, offering a competitive advantage to global names looking for a long-term, stable future. We are therefore in a strong position to support and grow an organisation like Channel 4, building on our creative strengths to invest in the region’s future.”
Cllr John Clancy, Leader of Birmingham City Council, commented:
“The arrival of Channel 4 would follow a number of other major organisations that are committed to locating or expanding in the West Midlands. The broadcaster would also be joining a long list of new and growing businesses, with the region producing over 22,000 new companies last year – double the UK growth rate. We would welcome Channel 4 to the thriving business environment here in the West Midlands.”
Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said:
“The West Midlands is well-equipped is to support the relocation of Channel 4. The region is the UK’s second most ethnically diverse region after London, and home to one of the youngest urban populations in Europe. The vibrancy, innovation and creativity of this population underpins the region’s burgeoning digital and creative sector, and will allow Channel 4 to engage with its target audience more closely, whilst creating opportunities for the country’s next generation of aspiring talent”.
Cllr Patrick Harley, Leader of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, stated:
“The arrival of Channel 4 will act as a catalyst to fuel the region’s flourishing creative sector and build on the vibrant talent-pool that exists in the West Midlands. The region’s skills-base, and strong institutional support for development in the creative and digital sector is unrivalled. This industry is already expected to be one of the region’s largest growth areas over the next decade, adding a further £2.2 billion GVA to the West Midlands economy. The region is therefore investing heavily in the next generation of creative and tech skills, making us poised to welcome Channel 4 and build our legacy as the UK’s innovation hub”.