"There’s a fantastic buzz in this city" - Students tell Channel 4 bosses why broadcaster’s headquarters should move to Coventry

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Friday 29 June 2018

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Two students have issued a passionate plea in person to Channel 4 bosses calling on them to move their headquarters to Coventry.

Coventry University media production students Tara Rutledge and Zynab Sadik spoke of the buzz in the city, the area’s diversity, its enthusiastic young population and the further opportunities the move would bring to the region.

They also told Channel 4 executives about the university’s talented media students and staff and the excellent facilities they have access to on campus – and explained how that could benefit the television station.

Tara and Zynab were among industry professionals and students from across the West Midlands who gathered in Birmingham for a networking event as part of the region’s pitch to Channel 4 bosses to bring the broadcaster’s new 'national headquarters' to the region.

Zynab Sadik

Coventry is one of two potential sites included in the bid submitted by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, along with Birmingham.

The students were nominated to represent the university by their lecturer Sanna Wicks, and were given a chance to meet and speak to Channel 4 executives, as well as network with other media professionals from the region.

Tara, 42, who will start the final year of her media production course in September and lives in Coundon, Coventry, said:

Tara Rutledge

I’m really passionate about wanting Channel 4 to come to Coventry. It would be massive for the city.

Since winning UK City of Culture 2021, there has been a fantastic buzz here. I’ve really noticed how the city has changed. There seems to be great, new events happening here every week.

When I spoke to some of the Channel 4 executives, I told them all about the university, our course and the fantastic facilities we have here. I made sure they knew that we’re ranked first for film production and photography in the Guardian University Guide. Channel 4 would benefit from having all these well-trained and passionate media and film students on their doorstep.

Coventry’s a diverse and exciting city and Channel 4 would bring so many more opportunities and open so many doors for the talented media students we have here.

Third year media production student Zynab, 22, from Guildford, who has just completed a placement year which included spending six months studying in Milan, Italy, said:

There are so many good reasons why Channel 4 should move to the area. All the students on my course are so passionate about our work. We take it very seriously. We’ve had great guidance from our lecturers, who are really good at what they do and have a lot of experience in the industry

If Channel 4 was to move to the region, all of those things would benefit them, and there would be great opportunity for students too.

I was really nervous about going along to the event, but it was really cool to be part of it. It was a great chance to meet other people in the industry. I’m hoping to go in to producing short films and documentaries after I complete my final year, so this event was a great experience for me.

Media production lecturer Sanna Wicks said:

Tara and Zynab are great examples of our media production students - they are bright, creative and passionate, with impressive technically skills too. They and all our students would benefit greatly from Channel 4’s move to the region.

Coventry and the West Midlands are the right place for Channel 4, we are young, diverse and full of creative talent.

Channel 4 wants to set up a "national headquarters" outside London, in addition to its base in the capital, as well as two smaller "creative hubs" in other locations. The plans would involve moving 300 staff out of London.

It is expected to announced its decision on the location for its new HQ in October.

For further press information, please contact Alison Martin, press officer, Coventry University, on 02477659752 or email alison.martin@coventry.ac.uk.

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