Bradford Council leaders have today expressed their delight at the announcement from Channel 4 that it has chosen the Leeds City Region as the home of its new national headquarters.
Bradford has been one of the main backers for the iconic broadcasting brand to relocate to the Leeds City Region and this announcement is testament to the work undertaken by the partnership cities, pooling their collective resources and ambitions to secure this major inward investment.
Bradford’s Screen Skills Diversity Programme will complement the relocation, helping people from across the district and the wider region to gain skills and jobs in the film and television industry. The programme is funded in part through the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool and will be led by Bradford Council in conjunction with Screen Yorkshire.
A Creative Digital Arts Industrial Centre of Excellence will provide training, apprenticeships, industry-specific work experience, careers information and advice, mentoring and bursaries linking curriculums with the specific needs of the creative sector.
Bradford, the first UNESCO City of Film, is internationally recognised as a world centre for film and television due to the district’s rich film heritage, its inspirational movie locations and its many celebrations of the moving image.
Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, said: “I am thrilled Channel 4 have recognised the potential in our young, diverse and digitally-savvy communities and delivered a huge vote of confidence in this region by choosing to locate their national headquarters here.
“With a strong and improving transport network, a strong and outward-looking cultural offering and a high quality of life on offer, we are confident this move will prompt other creative and digital businesses to consider similar moves.
“Bradford is also delighted to lead with Screen Yorkshire, the regional Screen Skills Diversity Programme, funded in part through the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool. This will be launched early in the new year and support young people from Bradford and the wider region to have the skills, confidence and connections to forge a thriving screen industry.”
Kersten England, Chief Executive of Bradford Council said: “We are delighted that Channel 4 has chosen the Leeds City Region for their new national headquarters. Bradford, as the first UNESCO City of Film, has long been a go to location for film and television and this move will only strengthen our offer. With a national broadcaster in our region this is an ideal opportunity fornational and international investment in our growing economy.
“Having the region’s Creative and Digital Arts Industrial Centre of Excellence in Bradford and Channel 4 in the Leeds City Region, will help our young people who are interested in a career in the film and television industry to reach their full potential.”
Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire said: “We are delighted with today’s news that Channel 4 will be moving to the Leeds City Region. The relocation will also complement the work that we are doing with Bradford Council on the Screen Skills Diversity Programme.
“This initiative will help us in our priority of supporting more individuals from diverse backgrounds to forge their careers in the film & TV sector.”
David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, said: “Bradford is a fantastic place for film makers and we have seen a huge increase in film and TV production in recent years and this relocation will only help to increase this.
“Channel 4 relocating to the Leeds City Region combined with Bradford’s Screen Skills Diversity Programme is a real opportunity to create a more diverse and dynamic sector for the future.
“The skills development programme will link with the excellent training already available across the Leeds City Region at colleges and universities, and through apprenticeships. We hope the programme also inspires young people in schools across the region.”