With mounting pressure for Channel 4 to consider relocating some, or even all of its employees away from London, the Midlands is proving to be a likely candidate.
Where could it relocate to?
With Birmingham and Coventry both in the running to be the new home for Channel 4, should it decide to move outside of London, some believe that the new site should be located in between the two cities. Beverley Nielsen, a West Midlands mayoral candidate, believes that Solihull is the perfect option, due to its links to Birmingham and Coventry. However, both cities are touting themselves to be the best place for the relocation.
When culture secretary, Karen Bradley, demanded a consultation into the possible relocation of Channel 4, David Cockroft, Coventry Council’s city centre developer sent a letter proposing Coventry as the best choice. He offered a list of benefits of the city, such as its proximity to London, the range of affordable housing and the skill base available through Coventry and Warwick Universities. He also outlined the development opportunities for the area around Friargate, the proposed relocation site.
For some time, representatives of Birmingham have put the city forward to be the home of a major broadcaster. The area was left without a national TV studio when the BBC’s Pebble Mill closed in 2004, and the city says that the lack of investment by the BBC is another reason why it should be chosen. Steven Knight also has plans to create a new film-making studio in Birmingham, and Beverley Nielsen believes that both projects would benefit each other massively, by creating a new media city.
Other companies have shown that relocation can be a great success. Take the relocation of some BBC services to MediaCityUK in Salford, which has prompted some to encourage other major London institutions to also relocate. Although a possible relocation will indeed be a big job, a corporate relocation company, such as http://www.dtmoving.com/relocation-services would help with the move, which would make the project much more manageable than some may expect.
Will it happen?
With other broadcasters paving the way for relocation, it seems to be only a matter of time before others follow suit. After all, spreading out to allow additional investment and further talent pools can only be a good thing.