The Battle to become the new home of Channel 4 is already well under way but the publication of new guidelines for choosing the winning location should give considerable hope for those behind the various Yorkshire bids.
Channel 4 bosses have now put forward the bidding rules to find its new national headquarters and two regional ‘creative hubs’ ahead of a shortlist being drawn up in May and final decisions being made in October.
Those in the running for the main headquarters must be within three hours of London and have effective creative industries already up and running, while the hubs can be within four hours of the capital and close to a well-developed independent television or digital production community.
Most promisingly, given previous claims from West Midlands mayor Andy Street that Birmingham will “get the nod for Channel 4”, the station’s commercial chief Jonathan Allen has pledged officials will be “completely open-minded about where we go”.
The case for Yorkshire is considerable, particularly given current media regional investment is largely focused on the western side of the UK in places like Cardiff, Bristol and Manchester. Leeds, Sheffield and Hull are among the local frontrunners, with the former’s bid also promising roles for York and Bradford in hosting the broadcaster should it be successful.
Yorkshire’s bids tick the boxes of what Channel 4 is after and offer an important opportunity to properly represent the millions of people living on the eastern side of the country. Station bosses must now tune in to the region’s potential.