Latest Channel 4 response following closure of the Government's public consultation

15 September 2021
Speaking in relation the closure of the Channel 4 public consultation, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

"The former Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden MP, argued earlier today that ‘standing still is not an option’. And I agree. Having worked in the creative industry for over 30 years, I understand the need for broadcasters to adapt and change. Yet, the Government has offered no evidence as to why privatisation is the preferred option for securing Channel 4’s future. What we have seen is evidence to the contrary, with academics from the University of Leeds stating that ‘privatisation [of Channel 4] can only take resources away from the British public.’

Channel 4’s significant role as an engine for economic growth in the creative industries is undisputable. This function has been enhanced by its unique model as a publicly funded broadcaster, paid for by advertising and at no cost to the public purse.
These contributions include a meaningful commitment to talent, people and ideas in places like West Yorkshire and beyond. From Bradford to Bournemouth, Leeds to Lincoln, Wakefield to Western Super Mare: Channel 4’s unique public service model and remit ensures that the programming reflects the lives of people across the vibrant and diverse Britain that we are all proud to call home.

Not only this, but Channel 4’s model means that there is an economic impact in nations and regions outside of London. A recent independent analysis by Ernst and Young LPP stated that up to 2,400 jobs could be at risk in the creative sector if Channel 4 was privatised. At a time where the Government wants to prioritise levelling up in the North, a decision to privatise Channel 4 is counterproductive and potentially damaging to our regional economy.

With a new DCMS Secretary announced, it is critical that Nadine Dorries takes on board the views of academics, businesses, independent analysists & creatives, who have all agreed that privatisation will threaten the valuable contributions made by Channel 4 and the very things that make it so special.”