Channel 4 has announced that Birmingham is one of just three contenders to be the site of its new National Headquarters.

The city made it through to the final stage of the contest to choose a new home for the broadcaster.

Other candidates in the top three are Greater Manchester and Leeds.

But there was bad news for Coventry, which had also submitted a bid.

It has been told it will NOT be the new headquarters for Channel 4, after its proposal was rejected.

The West Midlands had been in an unusual position because it submitted two proposals, one for Coventry and one for Birmingham, both of them backed by regional leaders such as the mayor.

Channel 4 headquarters in Horseferry Road, London
Channel 4 headquarters in Horseferry Road, London

Channel 4 is to open a “national headquarters” to operate alongside its existing headquarters in London, and two smaller "hubs".

Channel 4 says 300 jobs will be moved out of London. The national headquarters will include a state-of-the-art studio that will be used to produce programmes and events as well as live broadcasts.

There will also be a new digital production unit to create short digital content targeted at young audiences.

Channel 4 managers announced in May that Birmingham had made it to a shortlist of eight contenders, after they received bids to host the new HQ from towns and cities across the country.

This was followed by a visit to the city in June, when top executives saw a detailed pitch from West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and others.

And now, Channel 4 have announced that Birmingham is on the final shortlist.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: "Channel 4 has today confirmed Birmingham is on the final shortlist to be the broadcaster’s new national HQ. Clearly, this is excellent news and I would like to thank everybody who has worked with us on the bid.

“As a region, we encouraged and supported a bid by both Birmingham and Coventry, so it is disappointing that the latter has not made the shortlist. Everyone in Coventry should be proud of the confidence and energy of their efforts.

“Now, it is important the whole region gets behind the Birmingham bid. If we are successful in attracting the HQ, the benefits will be felt across the West Midlands."

Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "It's great news that Birmingham has been shortlisted. We're a perfect fit for Channel 4, with a wealth of knowledge and creativity, combined with one of the youngest and most diverse populations in Europe.

"We have the digital skills, the talent and the energy needed to make the move a major success and Channel 4 has a huge opportunity to tap into a city and a region of huge potential."

Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “We are naturally disappointed at today’s announcement.

“What does not change is that our city offers excellent transport links, a young, diverse population and a reputation for design and innovation which makes us an attractive option for potential investors along with our central location that means we are within two hours of 40 million people."

Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow have been shortlisted to host smaller "hub" offices.

Channel 4 Chief Commercial Officer Jonathan Allan said: “Our visits to the 13 shortlisted cities over the last month were incredibly inspiring and I’d like to thank all of those involved for the huge amounts of creativity they demonstrated and the excitement for Channel 4 and what we could achieve together.

“We have again had to take some very difficult decisions on which cities to take forward to the next stage, but we believe the six cities we have selected are best able to deliver against our vision and requirements for the new National HQ and Creative Hubs."

Citizen Khan creator and star Adil Ray backs the bid
Citizen Khan creator and star Adil Ray backs the bid

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), which is chaired by the Mayor, drew up a bid focusing on potential sites in Birmingham and Coventry, highlighting the strengths of the West Midlands under the slogan of "Get Closer".

And the bid has been backed by people using the #WMGeneration hashtag on social media.

The West Midlands pitch highlighted the many strengths of the region. K ey messages included:

  • The region’s great transport links will enable C4 to get closer to the whole of the UK, accessing the broadest pool of talent, ideas and resources.

  • We are the most diverse region in the country and we celebrate diversity of opinion, which means we can help Channel 4 get closer to its audience.

  • The West Midlands is fertile ground for a new kind of broadcasting pioneered by Channel 4, helping it to get closer to the future.

  • And the West Midlands is about to go global like no other UK region in history - making it the perfect place to get closer to the world. We’re preparing to host Coventry City of Culture 2021 and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

A decision on the site of the new national headquarters, and two smaller "hub" offices, is expected on October 1.

Channel 4 News also plans to co-anchor from outside its existing London studio every night, opening a newsroom in a city outside London.

And the broadcaster will increase the amount it spends commissioning programmes made outside London by £250m.

This is expected to support up to 3,000 additional production jobs.

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and Citzen’s Khan star Adil Ray have backed the Birmingham bid, which is supported by the region's arts and cultural organisations, local authorities and MPs.