Channel 4 has confirmed that they are negotiating to lease the old Majestic nightclub in Leeds - but they will also move into temporary offices in the city centre first.
The broadcaster responded to months of rumours yesterday by announcing that they were hoping to rent space in the former cinema and ballroom building, which is currently being converted into offices.
Channel 4 move could bring over 500 new jobs to Leeds
If the deal is signed, Channel 4 would move in in the second half of 2020 and occupy the third, fourth and fifth floors of the landmark building on City Square.
These are the jobs and programmes that will be based at Channel 4 in Leeds
However, ahead of the completion of the Majestic's renovation, the broadcaster is planning to rent temporary accommodation elsewhere in the city centre.
They will initially move into the Platform building, beside Leeds Station, this May, before a further move in September to the West Gate development on Grace Street in the financial district. Both buildings are owned by Bruntwood.
The Majestic, which will occupied no earlier than June 2020, will become Channel 4's national headquarters and a major news hub. The managing director will be based there, alongside the Nations & Regions department, programme commissioners, the new Digital Creative Unit and support staff. Channel 4 News will regularly be co-anchored from the new Leeds studio within the Majestic.
Channel 4 chiefs said they were attracted to the historic Majestic because of its location at the heart of the city centre, ample space and facilities, and iconic status.
These are the programmes that will be commissioned from Leeds
Departments include: Comedy, Daytime, Drama, Entertainment & Live Events, E4, Factual, Features & Formats and Sport. Channel 4 do not produce their own programmes - they commission independent production companies to do so on their behalf. The On-Screen Talent and Creative Diversity teams will also work from Leeds. Commissioners from these departments will work with producers and talent across the UK to support the significant growth in Channel 4’s Nations & Regions content spend and create more opportunities for regional voices and talent on and off-screen.
Digital and social media content producers
A new creative digital unit will be established at the Leeds site - the Digital Creative Unit. They will be responsible for commissioning and producing digital content to reach audiences on social and digital platforms. The Digital Creative Unit will work with departments across the organisation, and with independent producers, to support new digital talent and Channel 4’s investment in youth content and audiences.
The ITN news team will be sub-contracted to broadcast news programmes from the Leeds studio.
Other creative departments
Leeds will also house other creative departments including the on-air continuity department, who produce and voice the airtime between Channel 4 programmes; and the Pictures team, commissioning and creating images for All 4 and for external media. There will also be a team supporting a new studio within the National HQ, and creative and digital roles from 4Creative, All 4, and the Listings team.
Indie Growth Fund
The Indie Growth Fund will be based in the Leeds HQ as it refocuses on supporting the 4 All the UK strategy through investing in growing Nations & Regions independent production companies. There will also be roles from the Advertising Sales Operations team.
Other supporting departments coming to Leeds
Audience Research & Insight, Business Affairs, Corporate Relations, Data Science, Finance, Human Resources, Information & Archives, Press & Publicity, Production Finance, Systems Delivery, Technology, Workspace.