At the end of this month, just shy of its 36th birthday, Channel 4 will decide where to move its head office. In the world of media this is a moment of considerable significance. But the potential impact of the board’s verdict is much greater.
Preparations for the Commonwealth Games in 2022 and the prospective arrival of the HS2 link have enlivened the UK’s “second city”, which was once known as the “workshop of the world”. Today, unemployment is falling across the West Midlands: the jobs that a “hero brand” such as Channel 4 would generate are badly needed.
But the city does not present itself as a hard-luck case. Quite the opposite: the municipal spirit that animated Joseph Chamberlain is surging once more. Birmingham’s digital infrastructure, early rollout of 5G mobile capacity, and the tech hub in nearby Leamington Spa are seriously impressive.
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