So, whilst keeping a headquarters in London, broadcaster, Channel 4, have decided to set up a new national HQ in Leeds, as opposed to one-tie favourite, Birmingham and Manchester, in an attempt to boost the way it reflects life away from the capital. In making that choice, they will move roughly 200 of its 800 staff to Yorkshire.
The channel has also announced it will open “creative hubs” in Bristol and Glasgow, with around 50 staff in each.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who led the Birmingham bid, said: “While the news that Birmingham has not been successful in the bid to house the broadcaster’s new national HQ, the work that has gone into the bid has not been wasted.
The one positive was the growing sense of collaboration and commitment across the region between local authorities, organisations and our creative industries leading to developments that are set to improve the creative landscape regardless of Channel 4’s decision, which will be announced in the coming weeks. ”
Continuing, a determined and ever-forthright Street said: “Through our Local Industrial Strategy, we remain committed to ensuring we are home to a pre-eminent national creative and media cluster, and we will respond to high demand for production by investing in the TV and film production capacity of the region by establishing new studio and production facilities.
The West Midlands region came together as part of this process and now we look to the future as one, as commit to delivering initiatives and funding that will transform our creative industries.”
Birmingham City Council Leader, Councillor Ian Ward, added: “With a wealth of knowledge and creativity, talent and energy combined with one of the youngest and most diverse populations in Europe, Channel 4’s decision is a massive disappointment to all of those who have worked so hard to bring the broadcaster to here.
That said, however, we will continue to be successful as city reinventing itself for the 21st century. I’m confident we will see many more successes in Birmingham in 2019.”
Channel 4 also plan to open ‘creative hubs’ in Bristol and Glasgow where they will focus on programme commissioning.