Leeds City Region submits bid for Channel 4 HQ

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Leeds City Region has today submitted its bid to Channel 4 to home the broadcasters’ new National HQ outside of London.

The bid, which responds to the broadcaster’s “4 All the UK” plan to support investment and jobs outside the capital, builds on the region’s strong pool of "young, diverse, creative and digitally-savvy talent," the bidder said.

#4Sparks campaigners.

#4Sparks campaigners.

The document also highlights the opportunity the investment provides to address "the imbalance in creative sector investment currently focused on London and the western side of the UK, and further boost the vibrant community of independent producers".

Read more: Will Channel 4 choose a Yorkshire city for new home? Hull, Leeds and Sheffield are hoping so
It builds upon the successful #4Sparks campaign which brought together young creatives from across the region to attract Channel 4. The campaign featured creative champions including independent filmmaker Suman Hanif.

Suman said: ''I am very excited about the possibility of Channel 4’s relocation to the Leeds City Region, which is blessed with fascinating cultures, diversity and talents that are worth being discovered and showcased.

“The region has the perfect balance of modern innovations and well-maintained heritage. I am confident that Channel 4’s relocation would bridge so many of the gaps that come in the way of young ambitious filmmakers in the North.”

Read more: ‘Bringing Channel 4 to Leeds will spark a creative revolution’ - young Yorkshire stars back campaign
Channel 4 has said it will boost nations and regions commissioning by more than £250m as part of a voluntary increase of its quota to 50 per cent by 2023.

A new national headquarters outside of London will be established along with two smaller creative hubs by 2019, meaning 300 Channel 4 jobs will be based in the nations and regions. The increased programming spend is also expected to support up to 3,000 additional production jobs outside the capital.

Channel 4 News will open three new bureaux in the nations and regions, including one major hub with a studio. It will mean a tripling in the number of news jobs based in the nations and regions by 2020.

Read more: Leeds should be frontrunner for Channel 4’s new regional headquarters

The corporation will retain its Horseferry Road office in London, but will reduce its footprint. It will create a new drop-in workspace for use by indies and creative companies from the nations and regions who are building in the capital.

Now that the bids are in Channel 4 will be notifying all of the shortlisted bids at the end of May before moving forward with the process which is due to be completed and the successful bids notified in October 2018.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said: “I’m delighted that the City Region has submitted this compelling bid for Channel 4.

"Opportunities such as this - ones which can truly transform a sector and impact on the lives of everyone who lives here - only come once in a lifetime. I believe firmly that our bid highlights the strength of our creative sector and the unique modern British voice that our young, diverse, creative and digital native population offers to the broadcaster.”

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership works with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to help businesses in local authority areas in and around the county become more productive.

To learn more about Leeds City Region’s #4Sparks campaign visit Investleedscityregion.com/4sparks.