Following the rapid expansion of UKTV’s technology division and the team responsible for VoD service UKTV Play, the broadcaster has unveiled plans to open a regional office in Leeds. The technology innovation hub will initially house a team of up to 10 specialists, tasked with enhancing the broadcaster’s content distribution capabilities. News of the Leeds office follows hot on the heels of the announcement by public service broadcaster Channel 4 that the north-eastern city was to be the location of its new National HQ.
The first wave of recruitment is at an advanced stage for a range of technology roles designed to help grow and develop UKTV’s digital platforms. The team will bolster UKTV’s technology and operations department and will focus on embracing new technologies, further exploring data analytics and the cloud to enable viewers to watch even more of the programmes they want to watch, on their device of choice.
“Over the past three years we’ve completely redesigned our technology infrastructure to ensure we can react quickly to the evolving broadcast landscape and increased complexity of our distribution platforms,” commented Sinead Greenaway, Chief Technology and Operations Officer. “Opening a regional technology innovation hub marks the next step in UKTV’s long-term growth strategy, enabling us to harness the skills and expertise of talent outside of London and support the creative industries in the regions.”
The office, which opens during November 2018, is based in the historic Leeming building in the heart of Leeds. It is known for its landmark domes and expansive period windows which flood the space with natural light. Much of the building’s original detailing remains and has been seamlessly mixed with contemporary design and high spec technology to provide a truly collaborative work space.
Leeds was chosen because it is one of the UK’s most accessible cities with superb transport links, and it is fast emerging as a creative hub, with over 1350 tech companies based in the area. It is also home to two large universities, offering access to young talent keen to enter the industry.
UKTV’s Leeds office will further strengthen the broadcaster’s ties in the region with a number of UKTV Originals such as Helicopter ER, 999 Rescue Squad and Bangers & Cash filmed close by. While the office will focus initially on technology innovation, there is future potential for it to house staff from the programming and editorial side of the business.