Opinion: Inspiring a #WMGeneration - why I’m supporting Andy Street’s bid to bring Channel 4 to the West Midlands

Following the government’s recent consultation on the relocation of Channel 4, I have been delighted to be part of the team advocating for the Broadcaster’s move from London to the West Midlands. Channel 4 is an excellent British broadcaster that produces high quality content across a range of channels. However, as the cost of doing business in the Capital continues to rise, we must seriously consider whether Channel 4 being based in London is a justifiable use of public money.

Having already succeeded in our campaign to have Coventry named as the UK’s next ‘City of Culture’ and secured an international status as the next host of the Commonwealth Games, I am confident that the West Midlands region is the right choice and the strongest contender in the race and, I am pleased to be able to lend my support to this bid.

The West Midlands offers the ideal new location for the broadcaster. Our region has a dynamic and growing base of digital and creative firms that can support Channel 4 and the wider growth of the broadcasting sector. We have a strong local skills base, driven by our young population profile, and network of 13 universities. Geographically, the West Midlands offers a central location with strong transport and digital infrastructure links that provide excellent connectivity to both UK and international markets. Additionally, the region is bursting with first class business and finance companies which would ensure that the growth of the media sector in the region is well serviced and supported.

I must take this opportunity to commend Andy Street and all his team at the West Midlands Combined Authority for all of their hard work in drawing up the proposal for Channel 4’s move to the region. In relocating to the West Midlands Channel 4 would certainly benefit from Andy’s vision and support!

Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP