250 jobs are supposedly going to be based in Leeds Channel 4 offices, with the exception of the continuity team who will not be making the move.
This team is not moving up to Leeds due to “reliability concerns”. Channel 4 insist that this will not “impact the overall scale of our commitment”, as the rest of the teams will be present in Leeds.
The continuity team is a vital part of Channel 4, being responsible for the voiceover that is heard in between shows as well as any emergency announcements.
They were originally going to make the permanent move up to Leeds when the plans were finally confirmed. The number of people in the continuity team that were meant to relocate in this team has not been confirmed by Channel 4.
Currently, there are 120 Channel 4 staff members who are based in Leeds, with plans to increase this number later in 2020 to around 300. The new base is vital in terms of media moving outside of London as the heads of genres will have the power to commission shows beyond London.
The new Channel 4 base will be located in the Majestic building in Leeds City Centre. It is currently expanding all over the country, with new bases, a part of their “4 all the UK strategy” appearing in Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow.
The new base will include multiple TV studios and a post-production facility. The building Channel 4 will be based at was formerly a nightclub which supposedly inspired Kaiser Chiefs song ‘I Predict a Riot”.
This comes after a previous announcement in June 2019 that no Channel 4 senior executives will be making the move to Leeds. However, there will be a range of digital, technology and creative teams, along with the all-important commissioners.
Channel 4 decided to choose Leeds for their new base last year. This was instead of other cities including Manchester, the home of MediaCityUK. The managing director said that it was the “young and very diverse population” that made Leeds stand out as a city.
Other major media companies also have bases in Leeds. These include ITV, which was previously known as Yorkshire Television. They have over 650 workers on shows such as Emmerdale.
Channel 4 agreed to relocate only part of its operation a year and a half ago, after managing to prevent the whole of Channel 4 from moving out of London. This arises with the reality that the majority of media centres are London-centric, with the media giant BBC having its headquarters in London.
The Channel 4 offices in Leeds are due to open later in 2020.
Image: Yorkshire Evening Post