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#4Sparks Launches to attract Channel 4 to Leeds City Region

Screen Yorkshire has joined forces with local industry and talent to back Leeds City Region’s exciting new campaign #4Sparks, aimed at attracting the relocation of Channel 4. The next generation of young and diverse content makers have come together to give their support to the campaign and express how by heading to Yorkshire and engaging with new voices and talent, Channel 4 could spark a revolution in the creative and screen industries.

All the Local Authorities, cities, towns and industry players of Leeds City Region have come together, with Screen Yorkshire, in an unprecedented show of solidarity and determination to support this campaign.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) commented:

“There’s a real momentum here and I’m delighted the young creatives of the region have come together to champion the #4Sparks campaign, demonstrating that we offer a distinctive voice for Channel 4. We all know that the region is on the cusp of a real transformation and Channel Four are the spark, the opportunity that could lead that revolution.  We’re fully committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with Channel 4 to offer a full package of support to de-risk the process of relocation.’’

“We offer a unique location, creative talent, diversity of voices and critical mass of digital platform developers to support commercial success.”

Maariah Hussain, (pictured) Bradford-based actor in Channel 4’s hit school-drama Ackley Bridge, filmed in Halifax and part-financed by Screen Yorkshire, said:

“It’s great to be part of #4Sparks because I’m really excited about the potential for Channel 4 moving here.  I’m proud to be part of a group of young, creative people from Bradford, York, Huddersfield and Leeds coming together to show how inspirational a Channel 4 presence would be.’’

“My experience of playing Alya in Ackley Bridge at such an early stage in my career has been fantastic. I hope #4Sparks shows Channel 4 how much difference and opportunity they could make, and what a warm Yorkshire welcome they’d receive.”

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire added:

The potential to host a relocated Channel 4 in the Leeds City Region offers a huge opportunity to grow our screen and creative sector even further.  This is now one of the best places outside London to be producing screen-based content and we’re confident that adding Channel 4 to the mix will have a galvanising impact on the whole sector. It’s a huge creative and economic opportunity for the City Region, bringing tangible benefits to businesses and our new and emerging talent base.”

Mohsin Ahmad (pictured) Editor at Leeds-based True North the largest factual independent TV production company in the North of England said:

“I work on programmes that are made in Yorkshire that are shown around the world.  Through its Growth Fund, Channel 4 helped make that happen through its support of True North. It shows what’s possible when Channel Four engages with our part of the world.”

David Eccles, founding partner of Leeds-based Numiko, Channel 4 digital partner for many high profile projects such as The Undatables, Stand Up to Cancer, Fresh Meat, Bear Grylls‘ The Island and the Paralympics, commented:

“With the unstoppable rise of on-demand, internet based content providers such as Netflix and Amazon vying for viewers’ attention, Channel 4 needs to be able to plug into a local ecosystem of digital talent which will guarantee their success for the next 35 years. I strongly believe that Leeds can provide this.”

Miles Watts award-winning Film Director, screenwriter and Co-Founder of York-based Creative Agency One&Other Creative and Managing Partner of York Film Office, said:

“There’s lots of promising sparks – lots of makers and do-ers who have a real self-starting, can-do attitude, supported by a really supportive, collaborative culture.  It’s just so much more beautiful and accessible here and everyone wants to help you. We don’t tend to think ‘how can I get the biggest slice of the pie’, we think ‘how can we make the pie bigger’.

Yorkshire & Humber’s film and TV industries growth has outstripped that of every other part of the UK, including London and the South East. The figures show that between 2009-2015, Yorkshire’s Film & TV Industries generated an annual turnover of £424m across 590 creative businesses (an increase of 247 per cent against the UK average of 118 per cent) with Gross Value Added (GVA) increasing 242 per cent in comparison to a UK average growth of 120 per cent. Figures are based on data from ONS, taken from research commissioned by Screen Yorkshire as part of the BFI-supported Creative Clusters programme.

Join the creative revolution and back our campaign to bring Channel 4 to Leeds City Region!

We’re working to bring @Channel4 to @LeedsCityRegion, to join our creative revolution. #4sparks

In the news

BroadcastLeeds launches bid to house Channel 4

Yorkshire Post: Bringing Channel 4 to Leeds will spark a creative revolution

Yorkshire Evening Post: Why Channel 4 would find a good home in our Leeds

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Backing from David Wilson, Bradford City of Film director, for Channel 4 move plan

Business Daily: Leeds City Region stands united in campaign to attract Channel 4