Kirklees MPs join forces in bid to bring Channel 4 HQ to district

Could Dewsbury be the new home to Channel 4's headquarters?
Could Dewsbury be the new home to Channel 4's headquarters?

Kirklees MPs have joined forces to highlight the ‘talent, innovation and creativity’ in the district in a letter to Channel 4 as the broadcaster considers relocating its national headquarters.

The Leeds City Region, which includes Kirklees, is submitting a written bid to bring the Channel 4 headquarters to the area in a restructure that will see a total of 300 of the broadcaster’s 800 staff moved away from London.

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As well as a national HQ, the broadcaster will also be setting up two smaller creative hubs outside London – and any area which is not successful in their bid for the former will be automatically considered for the latter.

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Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, Colne Valley MP Thelma Walker, Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff and Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman have co-signed a letter to the Chief Executive of Channel 4 to ensure the broadcaster considers the numerous benefits Kirklees has to offer when scrutinising the Leeds City Region bid.

Tracy Brabin MP said: “Kirklees has so much to offer and we want to make sure that Channel 4 do not forget this when considering the Leeds City Region submission.

“This is about ensuring the broadcaster looks beyond the big cities when choosing where to relocate – the towns and villages have just as much to offer and arguably more to gain.

“We have the creativity, expertise, drive, passion and wonderful locations right in here in Kirklees that can rival anywhere in the nation – so come and see it for yourselves, I’d be more than happy to show you around.”

Here’s the letter in full:

We would like to begin by commending your decision to relocate parts of your operation away from London to put a greater emphasis on regional programming.

This type of forward-thinking and dedication to regional broadcasting will have a significant, long-lasting and positive impact on the chosen locations in terms of culture, economy and employment and we hope that other organisations will follow suit by tapping into the rich and diverse pools of talent that are to be found throughout our nation.

Leeds City Region are bidding to bring one of the hubs to West Yorkshire, and we ask that when considering their proposal you do not overlook what districts within the region such as Kirklees have to offer.

Kirklees may not have the fame of some of its more prominent neighbours, but with several dynamic towns, a diverse population of talented, innovative and creative people, and mile after mile of stunning countryside, it can rival anywhere in the country.

The district, which includes the welcoming towns of Spenborough, Batley, Dewsbury, Huddersfield and Holmfirth, has a population of over 400,000 and has all the facilities an international broadcaster could require.

In many ways, Kirklees offers a microcosm of modern Britain; we are lucky enough to have a diverse population and a vibrant multicultural community while still retaining strong links to our rich history and industrial heritage.

All the intricacies, joys and struggles of life can be found within our region, and it’s all the richer for it.

Geographically, Kirklees sits right in the middle of Leeds, Bradford and Manchester, is close to both the M1 and M62 motorways and has good public transport links with the surrounding areas. Beyond that, London is accessible by train in under three hours from most parts of the district.

In terms of filming locations, Kirklees offers an outstanding array of options. From sprawling manors steeped in history and beautiful country parks to thriving urban hubs and heavy industry, there are locations offering limitless possibilities.

Numerous productions have taken advantage of what Kirklees has to offer, with recent examples including Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and the miniseries Gunpowder both filming at the stunning Oakwell Hall and Country Park in Birstall.

And just last year, Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin utilised her connections as a former actor and writer to successfully spearhead efforts to bring Les Misérables to the area in memory of her predecessor, Jo Cox.

The acclaimed production, which had a diverse cast of 100 local young people, showed that Kirklees is more than capable of punching above its weight.

The list of Kirklees many benefits goes on, and we implore you to come and take a look around for yourselves.

All four of us would be more than happy to meet in person to discuss in further detail what the district has to offer.

Kirklees is a fantastic place to live and work, and the more people that see that, the better.

More information on the submission process can be found here.