Leeds has been chosen as the new regional base for Channel 4 in the UK amidst competition from Birmingham and Greater Manchester.
Throughout the decision making process there was fierce competition as 300 staff will relocate from the channels London headquarters. There will also be the creation of a new TV studio and Channel 4 News bureau which will see their nightly news programmed anchored from Yorkshire.
The full board of Channel 4 met today in order to make a decision and the cities in the running were unaware of the decision until earlier this afternoon.
With both Birmingham and Greater Manchester in the running, Leeds looked like an expectant winner, with many experts suggesting that Manchester was at the forefront of the choice, due to its growing media industry centred around the BBC and ITV’s presence in Salford.
“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,” said the Channel 4 chief executive, Alex Mahon.
“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.”
Two smaller creative hubs are to be established in both Bristol and Glasgow, although Cardiff was overlooked.
The move comes in the wake of Channel 4 successfully fighting against government proposals to privatise the channel and move the broadcaster’s staff out of the capital. The channel is ultimately owned by the government, although is commercially funded.
We’re looking forward to seeing how this effects Leeds and its economy!