2018-07/1531832180_neil-rami-chief-executive-west-midlands-growth-company

1.    Channel 4

Channel 4 (C4) is running a competitive process to identify possible locations for three new creative hubs outside of London, the largest of which will become the national headquarters. 

On Wednesday 30 May 2018, the West Midlands was shortlisted by Channel 4 as a potential location for its new national HQ. Other shortlisted locations included Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool. 

On 6 June 2018, C4 issued briefing details for a three-hour formal visit to the West Midlands mandated for 27 June 2018. The visit consisted of a formal presentation and Q&A session for 2 hours and an additional hour available for us to introduce the C4 panel to the region in a less formal way, whether through networking with local stakeholders or a tour.

WMGC co-ordinated the formal pitch presentation to C4 with financial support and strategic input from the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, Coventry City Council and Birmingham City Council. 

KPMG, BOP Consulting and Zanna Creative provided external advisory support reporting to a steering group, which included funding partners and officers from Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley and Solihull Councils and the Mayor’s office.

On Wednesday 27 June 2018 we hosted the C4 delegation including Alex Mahon, Chief Executive; Jonathan Allan, Chief Commercial Officer; Sophie Jones, Head of Corporate Relations; Kathryn Barry, HR Business Partner; Gill Wilson, Consultant and Will Fox, project manager – Nations and Regions.

The formal presentation from the West Midlands bid team took place at Birmingham City University and featured: Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands; Neil Rami, West Midlands Growth Company; Dawn Baxendale, Chief Executive, Birmingham City Council; Martin Reeves, Chief Executive, Coventry City Council; Ben Robinson, Zebra Digital; Sarah Trigg, 7 Wonder and Louis Lewinson, choreographer. 

The presentation was followed by a stakeholder-networking event hosted by the leaders of Birmingham and Coventry City Councils. It featured a cast of creative talent, which included: Adil Ray (writer/actor/director); Steven Knight (screenwriter/film director); Debbie Isitt, creator of film franchise Nativity; and local poet Casey Bailey.

Feedback from Channel 4 following the visit has been positive. Further work is being undertaken to provide the broadcaster with more details on our existing and planned production and studios capacity, our investment plans for the creative industries and details on recruitment levels for the BBC in the region.

It is understood that we will be informed by the end of July whether Channel 4 plan to progress with a West Midlands option for its HQ, at which point, more detailed commercial discussions will commence. The broadcaster has committed to making a final decision by 1st October 2018.

2.    Foreign Direct Investment Annual Results
    

The Department for Investment and Trade recently announced the annual national foreign direct investment figures. In terms of projects and jobs, the West Midlands performed extremely well.

UK_Region

Projects

New_Jobs

Safe_Jobs

Total_Jobs

London

740

17478

305

17783

West Midlands

171

9424

315

9739

South East

294

5238

1864

7102

Yorkshire and The Humber

107

4623

1304

5927

Scotland

141

4148

5139

9287

East Midlands

72

3714

 

 

North West

139

3689

832

4521

South West

99

3653

114

3767

Wales

57

3107

1515

4622

North East

69

2379

1179

3558

East of England

94

2235

2142

4377

Northern Ireland

28

1251

 

 

Multiple UK sites

61

15029

256

15285

Total

2072

75968

15063

91031

In 2017/18, the number of Foreign Direct Investment projects in the UK decreased by 9%. The West Midlands region was one of only two regions which achieved an increase in FDI projects (up from 151 to 171).  Nationally, the number of jobs created or safeguarded decreased by 16%, but the West Midlands region had the biggest increase in jobs created or safeguarded (up by 1,446). 

The West Midlands region had the second highest new jobs created of any region outside London (9,424 new jobs). 

Key markets for the region remained North America, Germany and India. Key sectors were automotive, advanced engineering and tech/digital. 

Regional Brand Guidelines and Corporate Newsletter

A number of new sections have been added to wmgrowth.com - to support our corporate brand and help us market the region. This includes portal pages to promote the WM investment and tourism offer, with embedded links to local information. There is a new regional toolkit to support promotional activity, complete with image library and infographics, which has been compiled working with a range of public and private sector partners. We have also added in case studies to promote our work – and those we work with.

3.    Future Events

The company is involved in organising or supporting regional engagement in a number of key events over the coming months, including:

  • 12 September 2018 - Commercial Partners - WMCA Industrial Strategy
  • 18 September 2018 - West Midlands Forum for Growth
  • 17-18 October 2018 - MIPIM UK
  • 5-7 November 2018 - World Travel Market 
  • 23 January 2019 - Commercial Partners - Engaging with Your Customer in a Digital Age