Channel 4 chooses Leeds as new national headquarters City beats Manchester and Birmingham to become broadcaster’s new HQ
Jim Waterson Media editor
Leeds has unexpectedly been chosen as the new regional base for Channel 4, beating rival bids from Birmingham and Greater Manchester.
The decision follows a fierce competition over the location for the broadcaster’s new outpost, which will see hundreds of staff relocated from the broadcaster’s current London headquarters.
The decision was made following a full meeting of the Channel 4 board on Wednesday, with the competing cities kept in the dark until the announcement was made.
Potential candidates for Channel 4’s regional base – which the channel is calling its “national headquarters” – were required to have a population of more than 200,000 people, travel time to London of less than three hours and high-quality physical and digital infrastructure.
The decision to move jobs outside London came after Channel 4 successfully fought against government proposals to privatise the channel and move the broadcaster’s entire staff out of the capital.
Although the broadcaster is commercially funded it is ultimately owned by the government, giving it a unique place in the British broadcasting environment.
The channel faces many of the same issues as other public service broadcasters as it faces new challenges from streaming services, although it is celebrating after 7.5 million viewers tuned in for Tuesday night’s final of The Great British Bake Off.