A couple of days short of its birthday (and yes, why didn’t they announce the news on 2 November?) Channel 4 announces its moving its national headquarters north to Leeds.
The first show on Channel 4, back in 1982, was filmed in Leeds after all, by Yorkshire Television at their Kirkstall Road studios.
But to be clear; this isn’t a move similar to that of the BBC when it moved several departments to Salford. The BBC moved production up north – Channel 4 doesn’t produce much of anything. If anything. Is Right to Reply still on?
So there won’t be hundreds of media-related roles coming up at the JobcentrePlus in the next few years.
But, it will act as a catalyst, encouraging more locally-trained and locally-educated talent to stay in the region that trained and taught them, rather than drifting west or south.
We could see the growth of new media hubs in Leeds and Bradford, pooled production centres, more studios. All of these will encourage people to stay, and encourage national (and international) companies to open offices in the city.
Who knows? We could see a similar growth in small- and medium-sized TV production companies that we’ve seen in public relations agencies over the last 10 years or so. That’s got to be a good thing.