Leeds wins Channel 4 race

While the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s “heartfelt congratulations” go to winner Leeds, leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese said the City Region’s ambitions as a digital and creative hub would remain “undiminished” despite Channel 4 choosing to go elsewhere.

Greater Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham were all in the running to be Channel 4’s new regional HQ.

The move forms part of the channel’s 4 All the UK plan, which is a commitment from Channel 4 to significantly increase its ‘nations & regions’ content spend from its current quota of 35% to a target of 50% by 2023.

This is intended to result in a cumulative boost of over £250m in Channel 4’s nations & regions commissioning spend. When the strategy is fully implemented, 300 Channel 4 jobs will be based in the nations and regions, with the intention to grow that further.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Greater Manchester is already an established national broadcasting centre with a huge talent pool and flourishing creative industries. We firmly believe that relocation here would have strengthened both Channel Four and this existing creative ecosystem and are disappointed that they have not chosen to come here.

“However, our ambitions are undiminished and we will continue to pursue opportunities to further grow jobs, opportunity and creativity in the city.”

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Combined Authority said: “We are, of course, disappointed that Greater Manchester will not be the home of Channel 4’s new National Headquarters.

“We are a proud City Region of innovation and our creative businesses and employment are truly thriving. With almost 8,000 digital and creative businesses, employing more than 82,300 people and generating £4.1bn of economic growth annually we are already home to the largest digital and creative cluster outside London. Greater Manchester’s creative, digital and media sectors will continue to go from strength to strength regardless of today’s announcement.

“We still believe that Greater Manchester would have been the right home for Channel 4’s National HQ and we are proud of the bid process we ran. However our heartfelt congratulations go to Leeds.”

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Best city won., Channel 4 employees will love living in Leeds, The best food and drink scene outside London, parks, very few beggars, clean streets and nice middle class suburbs close to the city. Five minutes and you’re in the countryside. It’s little London


Well well. Well done Leeds.

I didn’t think Manchester would get C4 on top the beeb and ITV.

All the more reason to get the travel infrastructure between northern cities sorted!!

By .

Best food and drink scene outside London? Sounds like you might have been on the pop yourself with a comment like that. And lets not even start on ‘nice middle class suburbs’ – think there is one, and 5 minutes to the countryside? It’s at least a 20 minute drive from the centre to Otley. Leeds is pretty good I’ll give you that, but let’s not get carried away eh?

By Loganberry

Clearly hit a nerve with Loganberry.Bitter.


I don’t know about little London, more like little things please little minds.
A poor mans ITV comes to town and your excited and bragging about that ! Once you get international recognition for anything then you can brag.

By phildered

I strongly suspect the decision was a political one..
There was only one real place for this move and that was Media City, Manchester and I say that as a Prestonian..

By Tony C

I feel sorry for Birmingham. Losing out to Manchester or Liverpool,is sort of a peer city but Leeds! Tony C is correct. It is a political and I would say a foolish decision for a major player to not be with ITV the BBC and the others at Mediacity,with all the technical expertise that would have brought. The chairman of Sony recently said that the only sensible place for it was Salford. He said that for sensible it was a no-brainer. It will help to narrow the East/West divide within the North though and that seems to be the main reason for the decision.

By Elephant

Not bitter at all, I’m very pleased and prefer it to be Leeds over Birmingham. Hopefully will create a cross-Pennine cluster which will benefit the whole of the North. I’m just very familiar with Leeds and merely commenting on your post PDM. Also have never understood why Leeds is always desperately seeking to be a ‘little London’. Should you not just be Leeds?

By Loganberry

Great news for the Northern Powerhouse… strengthens the case for Northern Powerhouse Rail. Hoorah!

By NP Arr

Isn’t Leeds that place near Bradford?

By Anonymous

Political move, now you know how we feel in Liverpool!

By Democrayee

Well done Leeds! Yes, let’s get the cross-Pennine transport to the top of the agenda. A northern access is certainly good news.

By Roscoe

I never expected this to come to Manchester, it would have created the same sort of situation they are trying to get away from in London (too many assets in one place). I am not all that surprised that it didn’t go to Birmingham either as they are hopeless at marketing their city. Well done Leeds a city I know well…however they will need to sort out the transport infrastructure which is pretty bad.

By Coolmanc

Financial capital of the north and now HQ for Channel 4, well done Leeds!

By Al

As a mancunian I am disappointed but don’t want a replication of London where we have monoliths holding all cards. Not sure about about best city comment by one author – poor transport infrastructure, limited access to technology, no real industrial hubs and as far as food and drink goes, well I have worked in Yorkshire for years and it is not comparable with Manchester. All said, well done to Leeds.


Lets now focus on creating great transport links between Manchester and Leeds to link Media City to Chanel 4. The business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail must be improved by this decision?

By Simon

I’m obviously disappointed that Manchester won’t have the benefit of even MORE investment, jobs and profile. But having C4 an hour away is still a win for the North.

By Edge

Reading these comments i understand why the North of England is doing so poorly compared to our SE counterparts …children comes to mind.

By Ronnie

There is only one iconic city in the North of England that has charisma, culture, a pool of talent , diversity , the most iconic buildings a world renowned place that is known beyond these shores and its definitely not Leeds or Mancheater .

By Kevin

Also with Liverpool getting Netrflix, Sky and Twickerham Film Studios great addition to the North.

By Graham

Shouldr bin Liverpool I think Liverpool it’s best


Ronnie I agree, such nonsense from the likes of Kevin and Graham.


Ronnie has a point but where in the South East gets anything other than London? That is the difference.The South has nowhere else of any relevance.So of course Birmingham,Liverpool and Manchester are going to be disappointed.I seem to recall the same catty comments from Paris when London won the Olympics.

By Elephant

Channel 4 don’t want to move outside London. The government is forcing them to move some people. To stop having to move more, they chose Leeds over Greater Manchester to avoid creating a credible rival to London. This is just like City bankers creating Eurozone offices in Paris or Dublin rather than Frankfurt: they need to do it, but they don’t want to create a credible rival to their precious London. In a few years time, they will all turn round and say “See! What a waste. Let’s move people back to London.”

By Bogie Laird

Say what you see if you see it say it!
My City is better than your City pathetic
Am currently living in Liverpool and i love it and prefer living here than anywhere else in the Northwest

By Matthew

Better Leeds than London. But why does all investment in the North have to go to Manchester or Leeds? If they’d really wanted to make a difference, they should have based it in Bradford.

By Moomo

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