Britain’s Channel 4 will set up a new national headquarters in the northern English city of Leeds and new creative hubs in Bristol and Glasgow. The British pubcaster has been weighing where to relocate, having committed to increasing its out-of-London operations. It has said it will spend more than $300 million more on shows that come from outside of the British capital by 2023.
Numerous U.K. cities vied to be Channel 4’s new home outside of London. Cardiff, the Welsh capital, and the English cities of Liverpool and Manchester were among those shortlisted to have missed out.
The broadcaster unveiled the Leeds move on Wednesday. CEO Alex Mahon said the efforts to expand the Channel 4 footprint and programming lineup are “the biggest and most exciting change in the organization’s 36-year history.”
The move will create 3,000 production jobs outside of London. Once up and running, the new Leeds, Bristol, and Glasgow bases will house 300 Channel 4 staffers.
“Locating the National HQ in Leeds will enable Channel 4 to capitalize 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,” the broadcaster said.
It added that having a base in Bristol, already a notable factual TV production hotspot in the U.K., meant easy access to Cardiff, as well as to the English Midlands. Glasgow gives Channel 4 an outpost in Scotland, an established production hub in the U.K.
British officials have been applying pressure for Channel 4 to increase its footprint outside of London. “The government made clear that Channel 4 needed to do more to increase its presence in the regions to help better reflect and provide for U.K. audiences outside of London,” said culture secretary Jeremy Wright. “Congratulations to Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow, and I look forward to Channel 4 taking further steps to increase its impact around the U.K. in the years ahead.”