Mayor of West Yorkshire holds roundtable on future of Channel 4

When cities like Leeds bid for Channel 4’s new HQ back in 2016, we bid for a public service broadcaster that we knew would have a commitment to our talent and our voices. It promised a hub that would invest in our people and boost economic growth outside of London and genuine levelling up. We must protect this.

Following the virtual session, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “I am proud to have held a cross-party roundtable earlier today with fellow Metro Mayors, industry leaders and stakeholders from across West Yorkshire and beyond, after the Government launched a consultation on the model of Channel 4.

We heard powerful stories from independent production companies and creative minds who have directly benefitted from Channel 4, its public service model and its commitment to diversity and inclusivity. 

This is not just about the creative industry. This is a clear question of economics. Channel 4’s current model means that the broadcaster has a commitment to commissioning up to 50% of programmes outside of London. Why does this matter? …

… Well, not only does the current model give ordinary people a chance, it represents a real risk to the economic recovery of places outside of London like here in West Yorkshire. The current commitment to cities, towns and villages creates an ecosystem of new business, creating jobs, boosting skills and stimulating economic growth for us all.

When cities like Leeds bid for Channel 4’s new HQ back in 2016, we bid for a public service broadcaster that we knew would have a commitment to our talent and our voices. It promised a hub that would invest in our people and boost economic growth outside of London and genuine levelling up. We must protect this.

From Glasgow to Manchester, Liverpool to Bristol: Channel 4 as we know it gives people a voice. Its current remit means that we hear unique stories, from unique people. It champions regional talent and reflects the richly diverse make up of the UK.

We will now work together to set out our next steps and ensure the Government understands what this means to ordinary people."

If you agree with us, make sure you have your say at: Consultation on a change of ownership of Channel 4 Television Corporation - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)