New Channel 4 HQ to be in Leeds City Region (maybe just Leeds)

Local politicians estimate that siting the HQ in Leeds “will bring 1,285 jobs and £1.2bn to the area over 10 years”.

Channel 4 announced its 4 All the UK strategy in March 2018, “the biggest change to the structure of the organisation in its 35-year history. At the heart of it is a significant increase in the organisation’s Nations and Regions content spend – from 35% to 50% of main channel UK commissions by 2023, worth up to £250m more in total. 

This increase in Channel 4’s spend will benefit all areas of the UK, not just the specific locations and will support up to 3,000 production jobs in the Nations and Regions economy.

The new National HQ and Creative Hubs will be home to 300 Channel 4 jobs when fully established, including key creative decision makers – responsible for commissioning Channel 4 content and programmes from producers right across the UK.

“Naked Attraction” from Channel 4

The new bases are at the heart of a new plan ‘4 All the UK’ to ensure that Channel 4 better represents all the UK, on and off-screen – and they will help catalyse the increased Nations and Regions production spend”.

Channel 4 programmes have attracted controversy in the past with some saying that they are dumbing down TV content. Currently they’re screening “Naked Attraction” a show where contestants select a potential partner based solely on their nude appearance.

The York Councils Chief Executive has said today, “The possibilities this will bring to York and the surrounding region ……are surely endless.”

In fairness Channel 4 also has a reputation for cutting edge film, drama and documentary work.

Quite how much of the promised economic growth will reach York – which already has full employment levels – remains to be seen.

A Tale of Two Cities

York Council says, “Recycle old Christmas lights to Acomb”

The York Council is planning to offer its old Christmas decoration lights, no longer required for the City centre, to Acomb and Haxby.

Front Street Christmas lights

The lights have become surplus to requirements following the decision by the York Business Improvement District (BID) to invest heavily in their own displays. These have already been reinstalled on the Bar Walls in preparation for this year’s festivities.

Christmas lighting in Front Street has improved significantly in recent years thanks to the efforts of local traders and residents.

Acomb Front Street is changing rapidly as the effects of the recession wear off and the efforts of the local trader’s organisation Acomb Alive bear fruits. There are few empty premises in the area while some independent traders may also be set to benefit from budget changes announced on Monday.

City centre lights

But there may be a feeling that the “hand me down” lights proposal once again fails to recognise what is needed to give Front Street a major lift. Residents, in survey after survey, have criticised the uneven surface in the pedestrian area and have called for a holistic solution.

This would involve the owners of the private forecourts, which would have to be incorporated into any paving scheme, cooperating. In turn this could only happen if a full time precinct manager were to be appointed and funded by the Council.

That initiative doesn’t seem to be any closer.

Meanwhile the Council is considering commissioning more reports into the ailing City Centre retail economy. They have been shocked by the decline of Coney Street as a shopping destination, although they claim that the “high street decline” is less pronounced in York than in other City’s.

Visitor numbers – who are not necessarily shoppers – have increased over the last 5 years.

Nevertheless parts of the City, including the Councils own Guildhall building, are looking shabby and need urgent attention.


What’s on in York: York in the First World War – Family Session

Oct _20Tea - Yortime

York Explore Library :

Thu 1 Nov :

2.00pm – 3.00pm :


Using the fantastic new education packs developed by York Civic Trust and Explore York, learn about the impact of WWI on York and life during wartime using this wonderful new resource while enjoying the rare opportunity to interact with original archives from World War One.

Suitable for children aged 7 – 12 and their parents/carers. This event will take place in the Archives Reading Room at York Explore Library.

Free, but booking essential

To book tickets please click here.