CITY bosses are being warned not to over-estimate the benefits of a national broadcaster coming to York.

York council chiefs have already announced an ambitious bid to attract Channel 4 to a new base in York, but now researchers are warning economic benefits would be "limited", especially for a smaller city.

>> York could be home to Channel 4

Think tank the Centre for Cities has published research into the effect of the BBC's relocation to Salford. When the move happened in 2011 it was claimed the move would bring up to 15,000 jobs to the wider region.

Their data shows although the move brought jobs to MediaCityUK, where the BBC has its Salford base, the wider economic impact was not so great, and many of the new jobs were actually with existing Greater Manchester businesses which moved their bases to Salford, rather than start-ups.

In fact, the BBC's relocation had a "negligible" impact on jobs on the wider city region , and only brought 4,420 new jobs – equivalent to 0.3 per cent of total employment in Greater Manchester.

The think tank's principal economist Paul Swinney said: "While the BBC’s move has been positive for Greater Manchester in other ways, it has done little to create new jobs across the city region, or to encourage new businesses to set up in the area.

"The lesson for York and other cities bidding to be the new home of Channel 4 is that if they are successful, they should not expect to see a major boost to their economies beyond the jobs that the relocation would directly bring.

"More broadly, cities need to weigh up the costs of efforts to attract public bodies and jobs, as these resources might be better used to address skills-gaps or improve transport infrastructure instead."

Other cities - including Leeds, Sheffield, the West Midlands, Liverpool and Hull - have also made bids for Channel 4, and the Centre for Cities says data shows relocated public sector bodies should go to major cities to get the best economic benefits.

Mr Swinney added: "If the Government is determined to relocate more public sector jobs across the country, it should move them to major cities which are already home to a large share of high-skilled workers and firms in related industries.

"For example, if the BBC had moved to a smaller city than Manchester with fewer high-skilled workers and a less diverse economy, it’s likely that the limited economic benefits it brought would have been less significant."

He said: “The impact of the BBC’s relocation shows that the Government and city leaders should not overestimate the economic benefits of moving public sector jobs from London to other parts of the country."