Channel 4 relocation could boost West Midlands’ economy by £5bn

channel-4-logoThe West Midlands is in the running, along with Manchester and Leeds, to become the chosen location for a move out of London by broadcaster Channel 4.

Proposed sites for the move include Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and Dudley. The relocation could add £5bn to the region’s economy over ten years.

According to research carried out by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) £2.3bn of gross value added (GVA) would be directly generated by the broadcaster between 2021 and 2030, along with a further £2.7bn indirect GVA.

The WMCA conducted its research in response to a government review of the publicly-owned corporation, which employs more than 800 staff but has fewer than 30 staff members based outside the capital.

Part of the Increasing the Regional Impact of Channel 4 Corporation consultation involved gathering views on how Channel 4 can effectively contribute to regional economic growth.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street believes the relocation would be “genuinely transformative” for the region due to investment and regeneration. The corporation could create up to 800 jobs and give a boost to the region’s creative and digital sectors.

On launching the region’s bid for the relocation Mr Street also said that Channel 4 could “thrive” if it was located in the West Midlands because of the young, diverse population and the excellent transport links to London. He pointed out the success of other relocations to the region, including HSBC and HS2 headquarters.

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