AN incredible 82 of Birmingham’s business, culture and political leaders have written an open letter to Channel 4 bosses pressing the case for the broadcaster to move to the city.

The letter, published in The Times newspaper, not only highlights Birmingham’s youth, diversity and creativity but points out that Channel 4 would be joining leading companies like HSBC in moving here.

The 82 names represent 1982 - the year that Channel 4 was launched in the UK.

Among those signing the letter are West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and representatives of the region’s universities and major arts organisations.

The letter points out that the Government’s consultation found 8 in ten people who responded were in favour of Channel 4’s relocation.

It says: “Channel 4 has been a pioneer, an innovator, a radical and a voice for diverse communities for a generation. It has pushed the boundaries of television formats and

continues to make programmes that attract new audiences. The nation needs this to continue.

“As one of the youngest and most diverse populations in Europe, we believe that the West Midlands would provide Channel 4 with an exciting new base to redefine its pioneering spirit, reflecting the face of modern Britain. The impact of basing programme commissioners in the heart of the country cannot be underestimated.”

It argues that the reduced costs of operating in Birmingham and close links to the city’s media centre, would also make sound business sense.

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“It’s no accident that more inward investors are now choosing the West Midlands than any other region. More young professionals, too, are relocating to the West Midlands

from London, as they see a region able to offer them a career and a better lifestyle than they can currently enjoy in the capital.

“Arguably there has never been a more exciting time to live and work in the West Midlands. With the prospect of UK City of Culture in Coventry in 2021 and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, Channel 4 has the opportunity to be at the heart of a new creative and cultural revolution in our country.”

And for Birmingham the impact would be a £5 billion boost to the local economy by 2030.

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Who signed the letter?

Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor

Deborah Cadman, Chief Executive, West Midlands Combined Authority

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council

Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council

Cllr Patrick Harley, Leader of Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Cllr Bob Sleigh, Leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

Jonathan Browning, Chair of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership

Tim Pile, Chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership

Stewart Towe CBE DL, Chairman of the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership

Sarah Middleton, Chief Executive of Black Country Consortium Ltd

Ian Austin, MP for Dudley North

Richard Burden, MP for Birmingham Northfield

Richard Burden
Richard Burden

Rt Hon Liam Byrne, MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill

Philip Dunne, MP for Ludlow

Michael Fabricant, MP for Lichfield

Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston

Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North

Marcus Jones, MP for Nuneaton

Julian Knight, MP for Solihull

Julian Knight
Julian Knight

Jeremy Lefroy, MP for Stafford

Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch

Steve McCabe, MP for Selly Oak

Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton South East

Andrew Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield

James Morris, MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis

Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby

Jess Phillips, MP for Birmingham Yardley

Emma Reynolds, MP for Wolverhampton North East

Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden,

Craig Tracey, MP for North Warwickshire & Bedworth

Matt Western, MP for Warwick & Leamington

Bill Wiggin, MP for North Herefordshire

Mike Wood, MP for Dudley South

Fiona Allan, Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Birmingham Hippodrome

Fiona Allan, chief executive of Birmingham Hippodrome
Fiona Allan, chief executive of Birmingham Hippodrome

Judith Armstrong, CEO, Millennium Point

Steve Ball, Associate Director, Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Mark Beardmore, Senior Partner, Eversheds Sutherland

Mike Bradley, Chair, Campaign for Regional Broadcasting Midlands

Paul Bramwell, Managing Director, MediaCom

Robert Bray, Chief Executive, Edgbaston Priory Club

David Burbidge, Chairman, Burbidge & Son Ltd

Professor Alec Cameron, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Aston University

Sajida Carr, Programme Director, Creative Black Country

Andrew Cleaves, Principal & Chief Executive, Birmingham Metropolitan College

James Craig, Founder, Oval Real Estate Limited

Corin Crane, Chief Executive, Black Country Chamber of Commerce

Paul Davies, Producer/Managing Director, VYKA Ltd

Charles de Rohan, CEO, The Binding Site Group

Monique Deletant, Director, Dance Hub Birmingham

Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham

Adam Ellis-Morgan, Managing Partner, Rider Levett Bucknall

Paul Faulkner, CEO, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

Liv Garfield, CEO, Severn Trent

Anisa Haghdadi, Founder and CEO, The Beatfreeks Collective,

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO, Innovation Birmingham

Richard Hayhow, Director, Open Theatre

Sam Hope, Associate Dean, University of Wolverhampton,

Richard Howle, Director, The Ticket Factory/NEC

Paul James, Chief Commercial Officer, Birmingham Royal Ballet

Debbie Jardine, Interim Chief Executive, DanceXchange

Deborah Kermode, Chief Executive, mac Birmingham

Chris Loughran, Deputy Chair, Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise


Andrew Lovett, Chief Executive, Black Country Living Museum

Stephen Maddock, Chief Executive, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Lisa Mart, General Manager, The New Alexandra Theatre

Laura McMillan, Director of Operations and Legacy, Coventry City of Culture Trust

Michael Penn, Theatre Director, The Old Rep Theatre

Neil Rami, Chief Executive, West Midlands Growth Company

Nick Reed, CEO, Town Hall Symphony Hall

Marc Reeves, Editor, Trinity Mirror Midlands

Mail editor-in-chief Marc Reeves outside the Birmingham Mail's new offices on Church Street
Mail editor-in-chief Marc Reeves outside the Birmingham Mail's new offices on Church Street

Alan Rivett, Director, Warwick Arts Centre

David Roberts, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University

Stuart Rogers, Executive Director, Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Roger Shannon, Executive Producer and Professor of Film, Edge Hill University

Liam Smyth, Creative Producer, Creative Black Country and Sandwell Council of Voluntary

Organisations (SCVO)

Professor Robert J Stone, Chair in Interactive Multimedia Systems, University of Birmingham

Paul Thandi, CEO, NEC Group

NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi
NEC Group CEO Paul Thandi

Gary Topp, CEO, Culture Central

Jonnie Turpie MBE, Founder, Maverick TV

Nathan Wallis, Head of Strategic Communications, Wesleyan

Jonathan Watkins, Director, Ikon Gallery

Michael Whitby, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham