Screen Yorkshire has welcomed the news that the Leeds City Region has been announced by Channel 4 as one of three potential locations for the broadcaster’s new national HQ. From the initial 30+ submissions, it is now one of only three bidders to have been invited to the final stage of the process for the National HQ. Birmingham and Greater Manchester have also made the final shortlist, which was announced by Channel 4 on Monday 23 July.
The home for Channel 4’s new National HQ will be announced in the autumn. Unsuccessful candidates will be considered as the potential location for two smaller creative hubs, which will focus on commissioning new programmes. Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow were separately shortlisted as potential homes for the two hubs, but not for the main headquarters.
Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire says:
“Screen Yorkshire is extremely excited by the news that Leeds City Region has reached the final three as a potential National HQ for Channel 4. We passionately believe that we have the wealth of programme-making, digital expertise and talent that Channel 4 is looking for to deliver against its strategic plans and better reflect the rich diversity of voices the UK. We are committed to working with our partners across the Leeds City Region to help Channel 4 make its decision in the autumn.”
Screen Yorkshire has played a pivotal role, along with other industry partners, in putting together the Leeds City Region bid, since Channel 4 invited cities and regions to pitch for its National HQ and two Creative Hubs in April.
James Hall, partner at planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore, welcomed Leeds’ shortlisting, stating: “As Barton Willmore’s analysis has shown, Leeds is one of the best equipped cities to host Channel 4’s headquarters thanks to workforce suitability, housing affordability, creative industry provision and university links.
“The base could bring millions of pounds in gross value added to the West Yorkshire economy and hundreds of jobs. It would act as a catalyst for growth in the already thriving film and TV cluster – with knock-on benefits to the wider regional economy, particularly when it comes to retaining graduates.”
The channel’s chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan said: “Our visits to the 13 shortlisted cities over the last month were incredibly inspiring and I’d like to thank all of those involved for the huge amounts of creativity they demonstrated and the excitement for Channel 4 and what we could achieve together.
“We have again had to take some very difficult decisions on which cities to take forward to the next stage, but we believe the six cities we have selected are best able to deliver against our vision and requirements for the new national HQ and creative hubs.”
A joint statement from Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council following the news stated:
“Hosting Channel 4’s national headquarters would create fantastic opportunities, particularly for our young diverse and digital native population. In choosing our region, Channel 4 would gain access to new talent and voices, and help rebalance the creative sector in the UK.
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