9 Aug 2013

#c4newspopup: we’re coming to you

Channel 4 News “pops up” across the UK from Cornwall to Edinburgh. We want to hear your stories – get in touch. #c4newspopup

Channel 4 News pop-ups

The statistics are promising. Two successive quarters of GDP growth, strong retail sales, a surge in house prices and even growth in the manufacturing sector.

This week economists even used the word “storming” to describe the UK economy after a survey of the services sector showed growth at its highest level since the heady pre-credit crunch days.

Plus there’s a feel-good factor in the air – the sun has been shining, there was a royal baby to celebrate and, perhaps most astonishingly of all, Andy Murray won Wimbledon.

But has any of it made a difference to how you feel about the economy, your job and your financial security?

We want to hear from you 
Do you live in or around Fowey, Cornwall; Swindon, Wiltshire; Teesside in the north east; the Lake District, or Edinburgh?
Do you have a burning story that needs to be told about your area?
Perhaps a local business that has been at the heart of the community for years has had to close - or maybe a new one has opened. What are your experiences of the local NHS? And if you are just leaving school, what are your plans - are you going to stay in your area? And what's the cultural scene like: maybe your town is the new "Madchester".

Tweet us @channel4news using the hashtag #c4newspopup, or email us on c4newspopup@itn.co.uk

Channel 4 News is going live to five places, starting on 19 August. We’ll be talking to workers, businesses and consumers, and asking them what they think. Is there economic growth – and where is it coming from? We want to know what the new jobs are in your area, and if there even are any – and whether the recovery is actually being felt across the whole country.

From inspirational local figures to complaints over bin strikes; from the hot new local arts centre to the shops which have closed on the high street – we want to put your stories on our programme and on our website. We’ll broadcast live each night from each place. So get in touch – tweet us @channel4news using the hashtag #c4newspopup, or email us on c4newspopup@itn.co.uk.

Click on the map below to find out about the five places Channel 4 News is visiting, and read more below.

Instagram map powered by SnapWidget

Fowey (Getty)

Fowey, Cornwall – 19 August 2013

Fowey is situated on the west bank of the River Fowey on the south coast of Cornwall between Looe and Mevagissey. It has a population of just 2,273 and is famous for its commercial seaport and natural beauty.

Lynn Goold, manager of Fowey Tourist Information Centre, told Channel 4 News: “There is a feel-good factor around Fowey. We’ve had an increase in tourists this season because of the hot weather which has boosted business, pubs and tourism. I suspect the increase of tourism is also down to the economic recovery.”

But there are problems: parts of Cornwall are among the most deprived in England. Locals worry that house prices are pushed up by second-home owners, and the council recently warned people to brace themselves for a further £100m in cuts over the next five years.

Get in touch: do you recognise your area? Tweet us @channel4news using the hashtag #c4newspopup, or email us on c4newspopup@itn.co.uk by 21 August.
Swindon (Getty)

Swindon, Wiltshire – 20 August 2013

Swindon has its origin as a small market town but it has grown into a reasonable-sized urban area, with a population of 209,000. To the chagrin of some of its sons and daughters, it is perhaps most famous for the “magic roundabout”, a feat of engineering which links five roundabouts around a further, central roundabout.

The town suffered a blow earlier this year when major local employer Honda cut 800 jobs – but Lyn Chapman, centre manager at charity run Basepoint business centre, told Channel 4 News she felt like things were improving in Swindon.

“I wouldn’t say there is a recovery but the general feel is that there is a buoyancy in Swindon. We have a lot of start-ups here and they all need the help they can get because they will be the employers of the future,” she said.

Get in touch: do you recognise your area? Tweet us @channel4news using the hashtag #c4newspopup, or email us on c4newspopup@itn.co.uk by 21 August.
Middlesbrough (Getty)

Teesside, north east – 21 August 2013

The Teesside area, around Middlesbrough and along the banks of the River Tees, is famous for its industrial heritage. It is still an internationally important base for the petro-chemical industry and for other scientific industries.

Peter Oliver, a 29-year-old who grew up in the area, told Channel 4 News there were ups and downs.

“Obviously everywhere has rough areas, but the rough areas are really rough. What with all the heavy industry, there is quite a lot of waste ground and abandoned areas. The area has been hit hard in the past by unemployment – coal mines, British Steel, etc – all of which isn’t great for crime levels,” he said.

“But the large amount of heavy industry brings a large amount of capital into the area. A lot of the waste areas I mentioned are being repurposed or redeveloped. It’s not a dying area.”

Get in touch: do you recognise your area? Tweet us @channel4news using the hashtag #c4newspopup, or email us on c4newspopup@itn.co.uk by 21 August.
Derwentwater, Keswick (Getty)

Lake District – 22 August 2013

One of the jewels of England, the Lake District is internationally famous for its rural beauty. Tourism is a major industry – it received 38 million visitors in 2012 bringing in £2.1bn to the region and providing employment for 31,235 people.

Ian Stephens, Cumbria Tourism managing director, said: ”The current spell of warm weather has been a welcome boost.”

But rural poverty is a problem in many areas, and many young people have to leave their home county in search of unemployment.

Get in touch: do you recognise your area? Tweet us @channel4news using the hashtag #c4newspopup, or email us on c4newspopup@itn.co.uk by 21 August.

Edinburgh, Scotland – 23 August 2013

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, famous for, among other things, Hogmanay, the Fringe festival and being the home of JK Rowling while she wrote Harry Potter. It has a population of 495,360 and is home to the Scottish parliament. The Scottish government intends to hold a referendum on the issue of independence from the UK in 2015.

Edinburgh (Getty)

Cllr Frank Ross, convener of the economy committee, said growth was visible in the city.

“Edinburgh is the most prosperous UK city outside London and the city’s economy continues to grow despite the difficulties the recession has brought,” he told Channel 4 News. There are now more business start-ups than before the recession, and unemployment is just 3 per cent, below Scottish and UK average levels.

But as the Edinburgh “complaints” choir recently showed, it’s not perfect. One of their songs includes the refrain “tram, tram, tram”, referring to the ongoing disruption caused by the tram works throughout the city centre.

Get in touch: do you recognise your area? Tweet us @channel4news using the hashtag #c4newspopup, or email us on c4newspopup@itn.co.uk by 21 August.