MP’s from Leeds City region made the case for Channel 4 to establish a new base in the area after an announcement that the broadcaster intends to move 300 staff out of London.
Alex Sobel, MP for Leeds North West, argued that Leeds has the infrastructure already in place to provide for such a move. In a debate in Westminster Hall he said:
“We have the infrastructure, we have Sky, we have Perform and we have Yorkshire TV. We have Rockstar Leeds.(…) We have Pace and ARRIS in Saltaire, which power internet and TV for hundreds of millions of people globally. We have the people and we have the infrastructure.”
John Grogan, MP for Keighley argued that Leeds City Region that the UK media should beware of only locating in big cities in the west of the country. He said:
“Although people say that their cities are like Channel 4, we have learned politically over the last few years that the United Kingdom is not just about cities. That is one of the strengths of the Leeds city region’s bid. Public investment in television in England and Wales over the last 30 or 40 years has all been in the west of the nation. There is a big gap in the east of the country where there has been no big investment in television and film.
Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said:
“Leeds’s thriving culture, leading universities and diverse geography makes the city region a perfect choice for channel 4’s relocation. I am confident that our bid will be a strong contender for the move which will bring jobs and opportunities, allowing us to keep our talent here and further enhance our local economy.”