With the increased strength of feeling that too much of British public life happens in the capital, earlier this year Channel 4 announced their intention to open three regional ‘creative hubs’ - one of which will be their official HQ.
With the BBC opening its regional hub in MediaCity, Salford and the alleged creative edge the area boasts, you would think the frontrunner for Channel 4 HAD to be Manchester, right? You would be wrong!
In 2016, more than 22,000 businesses were created in the West Midlands. At double the UK growth rate, can there be any doubt as to why one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world, HSBC, is investing more than £200 million in Birmingham and creating hundreds of jobs in our dynamic and entrepreneurial city?
Birmingham was the quickest out of the blocks with submitting plans to offer two prime C4 HQ locations, including a site near the city centre’s forthcoming high-speed rail station. What’s that, the very same HS2 that will enable travel from Birmingham to London in just 49 minutes?? However, will we cope with the economic growth housing this landmark destination is obviously going to catalyse?!
Hold on a minute, people from around here are massively uncultured, right? Actually, our amazing region boasts three of the UK’s top 20 universities including those ranked highest for film production, creative writing, dance and drama. Heavy metal was born in Birmingham and then there is the vaguely known works of JRR. Tolkien, WH Auden and some bloke called Shakespeare. Just saying.
Okay, so I will concede that our accent may be frequently associated with being a little… erm…low on the intelligence front shall we say, but the Brummie twang is disarming and reflects how welcoming a population we are - just ask the 187 different nationalities that make up our amazingly culturally diverse city.
So, Pitch has offices in both Birmingham and Manchester and from a recruitment perspective, we are most definitely neutral in this debate but I am a fully fledged Brummie and in my humble opinion, there is no doubt as to where Channel 4 need to focus their HQ-seeking attention.