Julian Knight MP has pressed Jeremy Wright QC, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, on plans to relocate Channel 4’s national headquarters to Birmingham.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Julian suggested that the recent announcement that the West Midlands will be piloting the UK’s first-ever 5G mobile broadband network made the case for siting a major broadcaster in the region all but unanswerable.
Julian has previously highlighted what a poor return the West Midlands receives from Britain’s major television networks. Last year, he revealed to the House that the region receives just £12.50 in investment from the BBC in local programming and production for every £145.50 paid in licence fees.
Speaking after the comments, Julian said:
“The Government’s decision to run Britain’s first-ever 5G pilot in the West Midlands is a huge vote of confidence in our region, and it’s time that the UK’s major broadcasters followed suit.
“It isn’t right that a large, dynamic, and prosperous region such as ours is still falling victim to a ‘broadcast gap’. It isn’t just unfair on local taxpayers – who help to fund Channel 4 – but a lack of regional diversity means that viewers and producers across the country are missing out on everything that the West Midlands has to offer.
“The BBC has branched out from London with major investment in places such as Manchester and Cardiff, and moving Channel 4 offers the perfect opportunity to bring the Midlands in from the cold.”