UK broadcaster Channel 4 confirms Leeds as national HQ
Channel 4 has chosen Leeds as the location of its new national HQ and Bristol and Glasgow as the locations of its two new Creative Hubs.
The move follows the announcement of the public service broadcaster’s 4 All the UK strategy in March 2018, the biggest change to the structure of the organisation in its 35-year history.
It will see 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.
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.
Alex Mahon, Channel 4 chief executive said: “We undertook a rigorous process over the last seven months and the high calibre of all the pitches meant those were incredibly difficult decisions to make. However, I know that Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow will best deliver our objectives to grow the production sector across the UK, build the pipeline of creative talent outside London and support our increased investment in programming produced across the Nations and Regions.
“Leeds put forward a compelling and ambitious strategy for how they could work alongside Channel 4 to further build the strong independent production sector in the city and develop new diverse talent from across the region. Locating our National HQ in Leeds enables us to capitalise on a strong and fast-growing independent production sector in cities across the North of England – and also has the potential to unlock growth in the North East and East of the country, an area without a major presence from other national broadcasters.”
Following discussions between Channel 4 and ITN, it has also been decided that a major new Channel 4 News hub will be established in Leeds. The new set-up will include a studio with the capability to regularly co-anchor the nightly news programme.