Channel 4 has announced that it will establish its new national headquarters in Leeds and a create a “major” news hub in the city.
The broadcaster also plans to open two regional news bureaux in other parts of the UK: in Glasgow, set to open next year, and an as yet unspecified city in the Midlands. It will also expand its Cardiff news bureau.
Channel 4 News will set up a studio and newsroom in Leeds, which will act as its northern hub, while also retaining its existing base in London.
Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman tweeted: “There will be a significant team and we’ll all be anchoring from there too, but not deserting existing Channel 4 News studio of course.”
The new national HQ will be home to some 200 staff, with about 100 roles cross the creative hubs. Press Gazette understands Channel 4 is still deciding what jobs would move where.
Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear said: “I’m delighted that we’re opening a newsroom and journalistic hub in one of the great cities of the UK.
“Leeds has a fantastic journalistic pedigree, is one of the most exciting places in Britain and as a former long-term resident of the city, I cannot wait for us to get our journalism back to basics there – reporting and reflecting the concerns of people living in the city and the whole region.”
Alongside the HQ and news bureaux plans, Channel 4 said it would also open two new creative hubs in Bristol and Glasgow.
The move to Leeds means a snub for other candidate cities including Birmingham, Greater Manchester and Cardiff.
Channel 4 chief executive Alex Mahon said: “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.”
Channel 4 revealed its All 4 the UK strategy in March this year, setting out plans for new bases and an increase in its main channel commission spends in the regions and nations from 35 per cent of the budget to 50 per cent.
Picture: Channel 4 News