Channel 4 has opened its new National HQ in Leeds. At an event for staff, partners and producers from the region, Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon officially marked the opening of the new base, with a large new office opened in the West Gate development this week which will be the temporary home until the move to the permanent base in the Majestic in 2020.
Leeds is the first of the three new Channel 4 bases to launch for business, with the new Creative Hubs in Bristol’s Finzels Reach development and Glasgow’s Garment Factory both opening in November – joining the organisation’s London HQ at Horseferry Road and Nations & Regions ad sales base in Manchester.
Around 250 Channel 4 jobs will be based in Leeds and the National HQ will house a range of creative, digital and technology departments. It will be the home to programme commissioners across a range of genres including comedy, daytime, entertainment, E4, popular factual and sport including Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick and Head of Sport, Pete Andrews. The National HQ will be led by Sinead Rocks, Managing Director Channel 4 Nations and Regions.
Channel 4’s new Digital Creative Unit, a new in-house digital agency commissioning and producing content for social and digital platforms, will also be based in Leeds as well staff from the creative diversity teams, the Indie Growth Fund, the Pictures team and members of teams supporting All 4, finance, business affairs, press and corporate relations, audience research and insight, human resources, data science, information and archives and workspace.
Channel 4 News will be establishing a news hub in Leeds with the ability to regularly co-anchor the programme – and in 2020 Channel 4 will launch a new live daytime show filmed in the City.
The new bases are at the heart of Channel 4’s 4 All the UK strategy to attract and develop talent from across the UK, both on and off-screen, and support the significant increase in the organisation’s Nations & Regions spend on creative content – from 35 per cent to 50 per cent of main channel UK commissions by 2023, worth up to £250 million more in total. When fully implemented, the 4 All the UK strategy aims to result in 300 jobs being created in the Nations & Regions.
Speaking at the launch event, Mahon said: “The launch of our National HQ in Leeds is the start a new era for Channel 4. An era in which we will be rooted in and more connected to the lives of the communities that make up the UK. Channel 4 will not just look and feel different but will think and behave differently. We’ll be more accessible to our partners in the industry and more visible to those that may one day work in it. It’s the biggest change in our 37-year history and I’m so proud that we’re now here.”