The Editor-in-Chief of the Coventry Telegraph has written an open letter to all current and incoming board members of Channel 4 explaining why the city would be “the perfect home for the broadcaster”.
In 2016, Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary, stipulated there be a consultation into the future of Channel 4’s location, suggesting that the broadcaster, which is funded by the public, should be encouraging investment outside of London.
The consultation aimed to discover how Channel 4 could best contribute to regional economic growth, spur creative industries outside of London, and improve the way in which it serves regional audiences.
The Conservative’s June Manifesto also clearly stated that: “Channel 4 will be relocated out of London.”
Channel 4 has a statutory public remit to inspire change in people’s lives, that is exactly what our winning UK City of Culture 2021 bid was built on
The West Midlands Combined Authority responded to the government consultation, suggesting four specific locations in the West Midlands, including Coventry’s Friargate project, which consists of 37 acres of grade A offices, hotels, new houses, leisure space and an improved public realm.
It is thought that the broadcaster’s relocation would bring up £5 billion to the local economy.
Whilst Channel 4 bosses are keen for the station to remain in Westminster, the government is currently in the process of deciding about its potential relocation and the Coventry Telegraph hopes to strengthen Coventry’s bid with its open letter.
The letter highlights Coventry being crowned the UK’s City of Culture 2021, stating that this is a reflection of “a city that can think big, has massive ambitions and a can-do attitude to get things done”.
It also underlines the legality to which the board must ensure that Channel 4 adheres: “Channel 4 has a statutory public remit to inspire change in people’s lives, that is exactly what our winning UK City of Culture 2021 bid was built on, so why not join us in time for 2021.”
“One of Channel 4’s other remits is to reflect cultural diversity of the UK. Where better to do this than Coventry, a city whose diversity is itself wonderfully diverse.”
Forty million people live within a two-hour journey to Coventry. That’s a lot of programme makers
It adds: “Channel 4 is quite rightly proud to say that it supports a wide range of companies across the Nations and Regions.”
“Where better to do this from than the centre of England? Forty million people live within a two-hour journey to Coventry. That’s a lot of programme makers.”
The letter also mentions Leamington Spa: “I can testify that Coventry and Warwickshire is a great place to live. In October, Rightmove named Leamington as the happiest place to live in the UK.”
The bill regarding Channel 4’s relocation will have its second reading debate in Parliament in October. If it passes, it will progress to the committee stage.