Mayoral candidate Andy Street has pledged to lead a bid to bring national broadcaster Channel 4 to Birmingham if elected.
There have been rumours for several months that the TV station is being put under Government pressure to relocate from London.
Now Conservative candidate for West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has offered to lead a regional bid for the broadcaster if he is elected on May 4.
Speaking after his manifesto launch at the Fazeley Studios in Digbeth, he said: “There’s been talk about this for a couple of years now.
“There’s been good work done in the background already but we’ve now got to put our case together in a coordinated way.
“We’ve got a brilliant case; our young population, our skill base, our connectivity at the centre of the UK. So we should be aiming really high in what we attract here.”
Leading such a bid is a job that the mayor can, and should, do he argued.
“I do think one thing the mayor must do is step forward and lead these things, not on his own but with the city council and the inward investment agency. If you’re the spokesman for the region you’ve got to be there.
“There’s lot of talk about it so we must turn every stone. We’ve got to persuade the board of Channel 4 that it’s a good decision.
“We’ve got to have ambition That’s what this is all about.”
It has been rumoured for some time that the channel was being lined up for a move to Birmingham.
Channel 4 is owned by the Government but generates its revenue from advertising and the move to Birmingham would be funded by a sale of its head office in central London.
Last autumn it was reported that although the board of Channel 4 are yet to be convinced of the benefits of a move, Government ministers are suggested Birmingham as Channel 4’s new home if the broadcaster wants to remain in public ownership.
Mr Street launched his 46 page manifesto in Digbeth with a series of pledges, including that by the end of his term of office in 2020 the average West Midlands commute will be quicker, average wages rising faster than any other city region, mental health problems will be decreasing not increasing and that 25,000 new homes will be built.
He is battling it out with five other candidates to become the first West Midlands Mayor.