A £2.5 MILLION funding pot has been created to encourage creative businesses to move to the area, and allow existing businesses to expand.

The re-location of Channel 4 from London to Leeds has spurred on West Yorkshire Combined Authority to create two funding programmes to help more companies to follow its example.

The head of Bradford City of Film has welcomed the move, saying it could help consolidate Bradford as a key city in the film industry.

The Combined Authority is using money from the Government Growth Deal, including £1m awarded to the the "Digital Inward Investment Fund."

Named #Welcome the scheme offers grants of £10,000-£50,000 to support small and medium sized businesses to establish new operations in the Leeds City Region, which includes Bradford.

A report by the Combined Authority that is being discussed next week says: "In the context of Channel 4’s investment in a new National HQ in Leeds City Region, there is an opportunity to generate enhanced growth in the creative and digital sector.

Filming for Netflix's The English Game takes place in Saltaire and Bradford

"To support this growth the Combined Authority has approved a change to transfer £1.5m to #Welcome.

Another grant scheme called #Grow has been developed to support creative and digital businesses that already have a presence in the region to expand.

That scheme will officially be launched at the Halifax Digital Festival next month.

The #Welcome scheme has committed £289,000 to support seven projects in the region, which will lead to the creation of at least 57 new jobs.

As well as creative industries such as TV, film and media companies, the grants of £10,000 to £50,000 will be open to companies that support such industries, such as IT, software and hardware businesses, cyber securities and data protection technology groups.

David Wilson, director of Bradford City of Film, welcomed the grants scheme.

He said: "We've been consulted on this. Channel 4 don't make much themselves, a lot of their shows are made by independent companies. This will allow companies like this to be able to grow and secure their future in the area. The Channel 4 move was a catalyst . There is a lot of production happening happening in Bradford and Leeds. Often it comes from outside the region, the filming is done and then these companies disappear again back to London or Hollywood.

"We support anything that creates the right conditions for production companies to set up and operate out of the region permanently.

"It's just what's needed at this time, it is a missing link that could help achieve that, help these companies root themselves in the region."