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Channel 4 'should relocate to Longbridge'

General election candidate says regenerating town in south Birmingham would provide perfect home for national broadcaster

Conservative candidate for Birmingham Northfield Meg Powell-Chandler with the Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock in Longbridge
Conservative candidate for Birmingham Northfield Meg Powell-Chandler with the Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock in Longbridge

Channel 4 should relocate to the former Rover site at Longbridge, a general election candidate has claimed.

And Conservative Meg Powell-Chandler has already made a pitch to digital minister Matt Hancock during a campaign visit to the area.

The Government is currently consulting over the possible relocation of Channel 4's headquarters from London - and Birmingham seems set to bid.

Last week, the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and council leaders agreed the region should submit a single bid - and Birmingham Eastside and Digbeth is thought to the be most likely due to the concentration of digital and media businesses in the area.

The winning city's creative industries would be given a huge boost leading to new jobs.

Possible alternative sites include the new UK Central development near Birmingham Airport, the Friargate development in Coventry and now the former Rover works at Longbridge.

Ms Powell-Chandler said: "Creative Industries in the UK are booming and I want Northfield to be a big part of this success story.

"With our location, transport links and skills base, we are perfectly placed to be the new home on Channel 4 and I brought the minister here today to show him everything we have to offer.

"As MP for Birmingham Northfield, I will work to attract new and diverse businesses to the area so that there are even more new job opportunities for local people and more growth in our local economy."

She showed Mr Hancock, minister for digital and culture, around the Longbridge development.

He said: "West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has already made a strong case for Channel 4 to move to the region and today Meg gave me the hard sell, showing everything that Northfield has to offer."

Labour candidate Richard Burden, who is defending the Northfield seat he has held since 1992, said that Longbridge would make a good site and land was still available on the former West Works.

He said: "The priority is to make sure that Channel 4 stops being London-centric and does relocate to the West Midlands and my colleagues and I have been lobbying for that for some time.

"Longbridge would be a good site and certainly should be on the list."

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