Yorkshire leaders unite in bid to bring Channel 4 HQ to Leeds City Region

Civic leaders from across Yorkshire have today given their backing to a bid to bring Channel 4's new national headquarters to the Leeds City Region.

30 May 2018...... Members of the Leeds City Region team bidding for the new HQ for Channel 4. Sally Joynson (Screen Yorkshire) Suman Hanif (film maker), Roger marsh (chair Leeds City Region), Dave-O (musical artist), Andrew Sheldon (True North). Picture Tony Johnson.

In a joint statement, 24 senior figures representing councils, local enterprise partnerships and combined authorities say a successful bid would “bring benefits to the region as a whole”.

The Leeds City Region, which includes West Yorkshire and several nearby areas such as York and Harrogate, is up against Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands in vying to house the broadcaster’s new national HQ outside London.

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Their bids will be scrutinised by Channel 4 before a final decision on the location of the new national headquarters is made in the autumn.

File photo dated 17/2/16 of Channel 4 headquarters. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

The statement is signed by 19 out of 20 Yorkshire local council leaders or representatives, as well as Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis and the chairmen of the region’s local enterprise partnerships, which represent local authorities and businesses.

It says: “Channel 4’s proposals to establish a new national headquarters outside London represents an exciting opportunity to support young creative talent, better represent all parts of the UK in broadcasting and rebalance the creative sector.

“It is clear that success in this process for Leeds City Region would bring benefits to the region as a whole, not just directly in terms of providing jobs and strengthening the creative sector, but also the national and international profile associated with hosting a major broadcaster.

“With its presence currently concentrated in London and the west of the UK, the eastern side of the country represents a huge untapped opportunity for UK broadcasting. Through this process, Channel 4 can address that.

“We give our wholehearted support to the Leeds City Region’s bid to secure Channel 4’s national headquarters.

“We look forward to a positive outcome to this process and working with Channel 4 to maximise the opportunities their exciting proposals will unlock.”

Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “I have been taken aback by the level of support we have received from across Yorkshire since our bid was shortlisted for Channel 4’s new national headquarters.

“This public statement of support as we embark on the next stage of this process sends a powerful message to Channel 4 that this is a region ready to collaborate to maximise the opportunities and benefits their move would bring.

“I would also like to thank all those who continue to show support for our #4Sparks campaign on social media which has underlined the level of enthusiasm for our bid.

“We want to work with Channel 4 to create new opportunities for our young, creative, digitally-savvy population and in doing so help the broadcaster enjoy new levels of success as it embarks on this exciting new chapter.”