Channel 4 comes to Leeds


Channel 4 are set to create a new national HQ in Leeds, in an attempt to boost the regional media industry outside London.

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An exciting development for people and the media industry in the region.

Channel 4 will keep their current HQ in London but over 200 of their 800 staff will move to the North, which was confirmed by Channel 4’s chief Executive, Alex Mahon and the Channel 4 Board on 31st October. New “creative hubs” will also be formed in Bristol and Glasgow accommodating 50 staff in each.

This addition to Channel 4 comes as part of a five-year plan to increase the amount they spend on programmes outside of the capital by £250m.

Alex Mahon, Channel 4 Chief Executive 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.”

We asked our people what they thought of the news and the impact it will have on the region.

Kevin Cunningham, Managing Partner at Dentsu Aegis Network in Leeds agreed with Alex Mahon saying, “Channel 4 choosing Leeds over other major cities like Greater Manchester and Birmingham is a real stamp of approval.

“Leeds is a vibrant city; it’s young, it’s diverse, it’s a digital centre of excellence and we believe Channel 4’s arrival will help increase the pool of talent within the region.

“It’s positive news for the people and the media industry and we expect it to present a lot of opportunities across the region in the coming months and years.”

Dave Singleton, Group Head of AV at Amplifi, a Dentsu Aegis Network brand adds; “A strong Channel 4 is good for the broadcast industry in general.

“For me the relocation to Leeds represents a great opportunity for Channel 4 to improve creatively, by becoming a truly diverse broadcaster which commissions amazing programming that accurately reflects the diversity of the wider UK population.  

“If Channel 4 get this right, the move to Leeds could help contribute to greater commercial success in both production and ad-sales sectors for the broadcaster.”    

Not only is this a benefit to the broadcaster but also for northern media and marketing agencies, Group Business Director, Andrea Bagan says; “Channel 4 choosing Leeds for its new national HQ is a bold and brilliant move. 

“Leeds was no doubt the underdog in this battle, but the decision to go against the grain and push for change, not only represents Channel 4 as a business, but also the Leeds media industry as a whole.

“This move will absolutely raise the profile of Leeds which is great for everyone already working in the industry, but I believe this will also have a positive effect on potential clients moving to Leeds based agencies as this highlights the diverse, vibrant and creative talent we already have in the city. 

“Great choice Channel 4!!”

Channel 4 - New HQ in Leeds from Dentsu Aegis Network North on Vimeo.

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