Great British Bake Off, Cake, Channel 4, Media, Channel 4 Headquarters, Leeds, Yorkshire

Channel 4s The Great British Bake Off is coming to Yorkshire and I couldn’t be more excited.

Although I am rather fond of a well-risen Victoria sponge and am absolutely willing to try a novelty sodapop cheesecake, I am actually referring to Channel 4s decision to relocate its national headquarters to Leeds. With a predicted £1bn boost to the local economy and an estimate of up to 1200 jobs to be created over the next ten years, this represents excellent news not only for cake lovers but for hundreds of small businesses across the region.

Six media companies have subsequently announced relocations to Leeds on the back of the Channel 4 decision and inward investment is ensuing in other sectors such as technology. Firms have already relocated from Estonia and Poland and the opportunities for businesses in the local economy are there for the taking. Think of the knock-on effect for closely related industries such as marketing and advertising, fiction publishing, design and technology, as well as businesses in the hospitality, IT and event management sectors it is easy to see why Channel 4s relocation is causing a bit of a stir.

Yorkshire’s business ecosystem is about to get much more diverse and exciting and capitalising on such potential prosperity will be important for Yorkshire based businesses. Success growth for any company depends on having strategic focus, well-planned processes, managed finances, a defined marketing strategy and an investment in people (HR). I have spent over 10 years working in media and HR (BBC, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central to name but a few) and I am thrilled to be helping guide businesses in the region to achieve growth and success via a bespoke HR strategy. As we have ascertained, the importance of cake is not to be disputed but it takes more than supplying staff with eclairs on a Friday to create a harmonious and happy team. People are the crux of every business and, as such, a huge part of any successful business strategy.

In addition to the huge economic benefit to the region there will also be incredible opportunities made available to young, local talent wishing to enter into the TV/broadcasting industry. A solid platform is going to be accessible for kids aspiring to be the next Krishnan Guru-Murthy or Cathy Newman and hopefully introducing national journalism to the northern accent at the same time. A future in the creative industries will seem more accessible to our younger generation and inspire big ideas in schools, colleges and universities in the region.

With the Channel 4 move to Leeds planned for later this year, now is the time for local businesses to start planning their business strategy. In addition to reaching out to as many local companies as I can, I will also be making myself available for cake tasting, so if you’re reading this, Paul Hollywood, my number is 01423 441226.