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From London to Leeds

Category: Accenture, Media, Television, Career Change, Career and Talent Development, Channel 4, technology

Career and Talent Development.

Channel 4 coming to Leeds is already proving a game changer for the region.

It is difficult to believe that it is almost an entire year since Leeds was picked to be the new home of Channel 4. The landmark decision that the broadcaster would relocate its headquarters to Leeds represented a major win for the region as a whole. The knock-on effect though comes not only from Leeds being on the television more often. It is already a major player in business, cultural and sporting terms. To say “this will put Leeds on the map” would neglect to understand that the city is already well and truly on there.

The real benefit will be to the cultural soul of both Leeds and Channel 4. The Majestic will house a range of creative, digital and technology departments and will be the home to programme commissioners across a range of genres including comedy, daytime, entertainment, E4, popular factual and sport including Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick and Head of Sport, Pete Andrews. Its Digital Creative Unit, a new in-house digital agency commissioning and producing content for social and digital platforms, will also be based in Leeds. They will be joined by staff from the creative diversity teams, the Indie Growth Fund, the pictures team and members of teams supporting All 4, finance, business affairs, press and corporate relations, audience research and insight, human resources, data science, information and archives and workspace.

By 2023, the broadcaster wants to have 50 per cent of its commissioning money to be spent outside of the capital. Leeds will be absolutely at the heart of this and it will ripple out throughout the wider economy. And then there is the social benefit, and this is the area that really matters for us all. Up until recently, if you wished to get into the world of broadcasting you almost certainly had to be based in London. That is not to say there were not opportunities in the North, that would be a disservice to the work that the BBC’s operations at Media City has afforded, as it would be to the likes of superb production firms such as True North.

Now the chance to produce great quality film and programming exists in our region. Young people from Doncaster, Scarborough or Cleckheaton can grasp these far closer to home. And with that comes a range of voices, life experiences and accents which do not always get the exposure via broadcast media. The world of media is now a potentially massive growth area for Yorkshire.

Since the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime came along good quality programming has access to a worldwide audience in the millions. The creative talent and output will be supported by a wider economy of advisers, lawyers and financial experts, all of which we have in spades in the region. We may be just starting to see Channel 4 work in Leeds but, one year on from the announcement, the potential benefits seem to grow with each passing day. Game changer is an overused cliché but in this case, it is entirely apt.

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