Strong backing for Channel 4 national headquarters bid

Leeds City Region’s bid to attract Channel 4’s new national headquarters has been backed by civic leaders from across Yorkshire.

In a joint statement, 24 signatories representing councils, local enterprise partnerships and combined authorities have described Channel 4’s decision as a huge opportunity to rebalance the UK creative sector and further raise the region’s profile internationally.

The Leeds City Region is among seven shortlisted areas whose bids will be further scrutinised by Channel 4 before a final decision on the location of the new national headquarters is made in the autumn.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair 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.”

The statement reads:

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.

Derek Bastiman, Leader, Scarborough Borough Council

Judith Blake, Leader, Leeds City Council

Peter Box, Leader, Wakefield Council

Stephen Brady, Leader, Hull Council

Richard Cooper, Leader, Harrogate Council

Mark Crane, Leader, Selby Council

Richard Foster, Leader, Craven Council

Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader, Bradford Council and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Ian Gillies, Leader, City of York Council

Lord Haskins, Chair, Humber Local Enterprise Partnership

Sir Steve Houghton, Leader, Barnsley Council

Dan Jarvis, Mayor, Sheffield City Region

Ros Jones, Mayor, Doncaster

David Kerfoot, Chair, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership

Carl Les, Leader, North Yorkshire County Council

Roger Marsh, Chair, Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership

Shabir Pandor, Leader, Kirklees Council

Yvonne Peacock, Leader, Richmondshire Council

Chris Read, Leader, Rotherham Council

Mark Robson, Leader, Hambleton Council

Stephen Parnaby, Leader, East Riding of Yorkshire Council.,

Tim Swift, Leader, Calderdale Council

Ryedale Council