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C4 chooses Leeds for new National HQ

Channel 4 has confirmed it will be setting up its National HQ in Leeds, beating Manchester and the West Midlands.

It's a major boost for Yorkshire, which has lost out on other media relocation projects over the past decade, which has seen the BBC and ITV set up home in Salford Quays, with ITV's former Yorkshire Television used for the ITV Archive, with local production limited to Emmerdale and ITV News Calendar.

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Channel 4 said it was" their view that Leeds was best able to deliver against Channel 4’s vision and objectives for a new National HQ."

According to the broadcaster, locating the National HQ in Leeds will enable Channel 4 to "capitalise on a strong and fast-growing independent production sector across the North of England – and further unlock the potential for growth in the underserved East and North-East of England. It is extremely well-positioned to be a base for collaboration with producers and creative talent across other cities including Bradford, Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield."

At the same time, Bristol and Glasgow were named as the two new 'Creative Hubs' for Channel 4. It said Bristol "put forward exciting proposals to establish new social mobility initiatives to work with diverse communities across the city and bring through new talent into the industry."

Glasgow, it found, has got "an incredibly well-established and vibrant independent production sector with strengths across a number of different programme genres." It added that establishing a new Creative Hub in the city "will bring Channel 4 commissioners even closer to key production partners in the Glasgow and help develop the production and creative sector across Scotland."

Channel 4 News
As a result of Leeds being chosen for National HQ, ITN - providers of Channel 4 News - will set up a news hub, with a studio available for a presenter to co-anchor the programme. London will remain the main base for Channel 4 News.

Channel 4 will also retain a London base following the structural changes, designed to ensure the public service channel can do a better job at representing the nations and regions of the UK.

Alex Mahon, Channel 4 Chief Executive said:
“Diversity and inclusion have always been at the heart of Channel 4’s mission and the launch of our 4 All the UK plan is the biggest and most exciting change in the organisation’s 36-year history – as we open up Channel 4 to people from across the UK and supercharge the impact we have in all parts of the country. 
“We will be spending up to £250m more on programming produced in the Nations and Regions and to catalyse that spend I’m delighted to confirm that we will be establishing a new National HQ in Leeds and new Creative Hubs in Bristol and Glasgow."