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Channel 4: Does Birmingham Seriously Have To Compete With Stoke, Norwich And Nottingham?

Channel 4's HQ at 124 Horseferry Road, Westminster

Hopes of a mega-win for Birmingham's office market if it secures a Channel 4 TV relocation from London have been dashed.

Just 300 of the 820 staff at Channel 4's Westminster HQ will be relocated — and those 300 jobs will be divided between two regional creative hubs and a so-called national HQ, The Guardian reports.

This could mean the Birmingham requirement is just 10K SF — barely enough to cause a ripple in the city centre's 1M SF a year take-up office market. And there is no guarantee it would win one of the three relocation places.

Expectations had been very much higher, with Channel 4's floorspace needs put at 100K SF and the economic boost to the city valued at a potential £5B. There will still be spin-offs for Birmingham's media sector, but the direct impact, measured in square feet, is sure to be more limited than many had hoped. The Smithfield markets site, the Jewellery Quarter and Digbeth had all been tipped. Today the broadcaster occupies around 160K SF at Horsferry Road, London SW1.

A national competition to host the three regional pods will be launched, and already cities big and small are jostling for a share of the TV action. Bids are likely to be forthcoming from strong contender Liverpool, outside hopes Norwich and Stoke-on-Trent, whilst Nottingham and Cardiff are also joining the race. The powerful presence of Manchester also hovers in the background. Bristol, Edinburgh and Sheffiled are also contenders, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Does Birmingham have to compete with this growing list of locations for a relocation that once seemed a shoo-in? The answer is yes, with ministers now reported to be enthusiastic about the plan.

A final decision could be made before the end of the year with relocations due as early as 2019.

Related Topics: Channel 4, Birmingham offices