Channel 4 is in advanced negotiations with Rushbond Group to lease space in their historic Majestic building in Leeds as its new National HQ.
The broadcaster will lease over 25,000 square feet of space on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the building, which will be home to Channel 4 roles from across the organisation as well as a major hub for Channel 4 News.
The Majestic sits at the heart of Leeds City Centre, overlooking the City Square and opposite Leeds Railway Station. Originally opened as a cinema, restaurant and ballroom in 1922 it is currently undergoing a major redevelopment by owners, Rushbond Group.
The new National HQ in the Majestic will accommodate staff from a range of different departments, including the Managing Director, Nations & Regions, programme commissioners, the new Digital Creative Unit – producing and commissioning content to reach audiences on digital and social platforms – and staff across a variety of creative, digital, operational and supporting functions. Channel 4 News will also base their news hub in the building and will regularly co-anchor the award-winning programme from a new studio, which will be built within the space.
The negotiations are being led by CBRE on behalf of Channel 4 and it is envisaged that Channel 4 will move in to the building in the second half of 2020. Ahead of moving into the Majestic, Channel 4 is agreeing terms with Bruntwood to lease space in the West Gate development on Grace Street in Leeds City Centre – and will begin to move staff there from September this year. In the interim, Channel 4 will lease a smaller space in Bruntwood’s Platform building in the City Centre from May.
Jonathan Allan, Channel 4’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “Leeds offered a wealth of potential locations for our National HQ but the Majestic really stood out as an iconic building which will put Channel 4 at the heart of the city centre. It’s an incredibly impressive redevelopment and offers the right mix of location, connectivity and space for our organisation and great facilities for our staff and our partners in the industry.”
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “The Majestic building is an iconic Leeds landmark, and will be a fantastic location for Channel 4 when they make their move to the city. This is another exciting step forward in the partnership with Channel 4. We are already seeing hugely positive effects since the announcement of their headquarters, as companies within the sector see Leeds in a new light and look to put down their own roots. We look forward to welcoming Channel 4 staff to the city later in the year, and continuing to see growth in this already flourishing sector and beyond.”
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and the NP11 said: “What a great landmark location for Channel 4’s new National HQ. The prominence of Majestic makes a major statement and provides a resounding vote of confidence in Leeds and of the wider City Region. Channel 4 couldn’t be better placed for attracting staff from across the region and making use of the transport links out to our diverse communities, towns and cities.”
Mark Finch, Rushbond PLC’s Director - Real Estate “We are delighted to be working with Channel 4 and assisting in the delivery of its National HQ to Leeds. The ongoing development repositions this iconic and much loved building in the City Square landscape and Channel 4’s decision affirms the undoubted calibre of the Majestic.”
Nick Salkeld, head of commercial for Bruntwood in Leeds, said: “The decision by Channel 4 to locate its new national HQ in Leeds has been described as a game changer for the Leeds City Region and we are delighted to play a supporting role in the move. By locating in Platform and West Gate, in a temporary arrangement, Channel 4 will benefit from highly collaborative environments, where employees can settle into Leeds quickly and take advantage of Leeds’ creative strengths and talent, aligning with our passion for creating thriving cities."
Notes to editors:
Channel 4 announced in October 2018 that it had confirmed that Leeds would be the new National HQ alongside Glasgow and Bristol as its Creative Hubs.
When fully implemented, Channel 4’s 4 All the UK strategy will result in over 300 Channel 4 jobs being created in the Nations & Regions, including key creative decision makers – responsible for commissioning Channel 4 content and programmes from producers right across the UK.
The new bases are at the heart of Channel 4’s plan to attract and develop talent from across the UK, both on and off-screen and support the significant increase in the organisation’s Nations & Regions spend on creative content – from 35% to 50% of main channel UK commissions by 2023, worth up to £250m more in total.