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.”