At this point it’s pretty common knowledge that Channel 4 are looking to move a fair few jobs (300 plus, according to reports). To create a new ‘National HQ’ outside of London. But the question on everyone’s lips, where? Well, why not Birmingham. West Midlands Growth Company have put forward a pretty compelling bid to the government and Channel 4 as to why Birmingham should be its new home. So we here at Gleeson thought we’d also put our 2 pence in and list a few reasons why Birmingham is the ideal new destination for Channel 4.
So let’s get into it:
More Businesses Are Moving Into Birmingham
Big firms in London such as HSBC and Barclays are moving more of their business into the city centre. The West Midlands in general has more businesses being created than any other area of the country. With affordable office space all over the city, it makes Birmingham an attractive location for relocation. With 90% of the UK market within 4 hours of travelling distance, a central location makes Birmingham the perfect city!
Speaking of entertainment channels moving their work to Birmingham, the BBC moved all of its social media and digital work for BBC Three into the Mailbox earlier this year. So there is already a strong case study as to why Channel 4 can also benefit from a Birmingham move.
Birmingham Is the UK’s Most Investable City!
In a report published by the University of Birmingham, as a result of heavy investment into the city and surrounding area over the last 10 years, Birmingham has been referred to as offering what is often described as ‘a cosmopolitan lifestyle without the price tag’.
If you want to see proof of investment in the city, just walk into Grand Central train station (The result of a £600m investment) or take a trip by Snow Hill and see the construction of new office buildings. These projects are allowing more retail businesses to move into the city and reap the rewards of the ever growing population and their disposable income.
The Channel 4 HQ in Birmingham would be one of the biggest investments into the cities development of not only its infrastructure but its people too. An investment of this size for culture and media would
A Rich History of Culture and Diversity
All you have to do is go into the past, to the weekend of the 26th and 27th of May for Birmingham Pride festival to show how diverse the city is, Birmingham is on average one of the youngest and most culturally diverse cities in Europe.
With a rich and multicultural population where around 124 languages are spoken, it would be easy for Channel 4 to find people from different cultural backgrounds to help curate their original content and help them target all audiences in the UK. Of course, we here at Gleeson would be more than happy to help resource and place these potential candidates into the Channel 4 family.
Hotbed of Digital & Tech Talent
“Greater Birmingham has the most tech and digital businesses of any core city in the UK outside of London” As we probably know more than anybody, there is a large influx of digital and tech talent in and around Birmingham with companies heavily recruiting right now in the region. With tens of thousands of students graduating from some of the top universities in the country, it’s not hard to see why. At Gleeson, we are seeing a large influx of high level graduates seeking employment in Birmingham, as a result of the development of digital and tech companies in the area. With the city having places such as the Innovation Hub and Silicon canal, Birmingham is starting to carve its identity as a ‘Tech and Digital’ city. Channel 4 moving into the city would cement that identity.
*We’ve also got Universities that are top ranked for film production and creative writing too. So that definitely helps!
A lot of Startup companies
Birmingham also has the highest number of startup ventures in any city outside of London in the UK. From creative to tech, professional services to retail, startups are helping to reaffirm the fact that this city and region is a cauldron for innovation and development across a whole host of different sectors and industries. With the city hoping that Channel 4 brings it business here, this is a KEY selling point. As you can see the strengths in the digital and creative industries for Channel 4 to collaborate on for key projects.
We’re seeing this first hand, with more smaller businesses and startup companies in the Birmingham area looking for candidates who can become key assets in the early inception of their business development.
The Future is Bright, But Channel 4 Can Make It Brighter
With more investment planned for the city and surrounding areas mapped out for the next 20 years, it’s pretty easy to see why the future is so bright for Birmingham and how it is probably the most attractive proposition for Channel 4 to take under serious consideration.
HS2, Commonwealth games, continuous property development and the Birmingham Smithfield regeneration project. These are just some of the exciting projects that will solidify the status of ‘Second City’. This means a higher creation in jobs and development of key skills over the next few years as a result.
So, Channel 4 – it’s time to end the search for your second National HQ. The wonderful city of Birmingham awaits!
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Credit: Dan Krishan