Back in March, Channel 4 announced plans to open up a second national headquarters in a city outside London, along with two other creative hubs. The move, involving the relocation of 300 of the organisation’s 800 staff, was described by chief executive, Alex Mahon, as “the biggest change in the structure of Channel 4 in its 35-year history.”
When the bidding process was opened in April, more than a dozen cities across the country entered their expression of interest, with lobbying said to be intense, and by the end of May, the number of cities still in the running to be home to the national headquarters had been whittled down to a shortlist of seven — Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and the West Midlands — with six other areas still in the running as possible creative hubs only.
And Then There Were Three!
Towards the end of July, the seven had been narrowed down still further, to leave just three cities still in the running — Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester — with the winner due to be announced at the start of October. Having made it this far, those behind the bids will be pulling out all the stops to give their city the best chance of winning, and of course each of these cities will have its own unique claims to be the chosen location.
According to Andy Street, mayor of the bookies favourite, Birmingham, the city has a compelling case based on:
“Unrivalled connectivity, the diverse and young nature of our population and the strength of our creative and digital economy.”
According to the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, their bid offers the chance to:
“…harness our youth, celebrate our diversity, embrace our differences, nurture top talent and pioneer new technologies.”
And representatives of the Manchester bid said the decision to shortlist the city:
“reflects the area’s established track record as a national broadcasting centre.”
What About Their Labour Markets?
A huge factor in making the relocation a success, will be in finding the talent pool to support a television headquarters. This means that close attention should be paid to the following questions: What are the labour markets like in these three areas? And more to the point, what are those labour markets like in respect to the sectors that may well be about to move into the area — namely television and broadcasting?
We have put together a short report examining these questions. The report begins with some general insight about television programming and broadcasting, including job growth in Salford after the BBC moved in; a brief comparison of the three shortlisted regions; and a breakdown of the occupations that make up the associated industries. Following this, the report looks in more detail at each of the shortlisted areas, including some general insight into the economies of these regions, before moving on to a more in depth look at various metrics on the industries and associated occupations within television programming and broadcasting.
The purpose of this report is not to make the case for one city over another. Rather, what we have done is simply to show objective and relevant data for each area, some of which may potentially be of help to those looking to make a comparison between the three areas, or to those making the case for their particular area.
You can download a copy of the report by clicking on the button below, or on the image above.