Channel 4 has announced plans to move 300 jobs from the current London HQ and move them to a new “national HQ” elsewhere.
The broadcaster will invite pitches from cities across the UK to decide on its second HQ. The London office will remain, with an estimated 500 staff members remaining.
Channel 4’s chief executive, Alex Mahon, said: “This is the biggest change in the structure of Channel 4 in its 35-year history.”
The remaining space in the London office will be used for “new workspace for independent producers and creative companies from the nations and regions”
The new “creative hubs” will be confirmed by the end of September, with big plans to expand and create new jobs in the UK.
“We will launch three new news bureaux in the nations and regions,” said Mahone. “One will become a major hub. We will triple the number of Channel 4 News jobs in the nations and regions by 2020.”
“The biggest contribution Channel 4 can make to regional economies and jobs is how much we spend on programmes,” Mahon said. “This move alone will increase spend to [regional] TV producers by over £250 million by 2023.”
Several cities are hoping to be Channel 4’s new base, with lobbying from Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool and Leeds.
Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, has said that the broadcaster could “thrive” if it moved to the West Midlands due to the young population.
The three new hubs are expected to create 3,000 new jobs in the creative industries outside London.
Matt Hancock, the culture secretary, has welcomed the plans.
“We want all parts of Britain to benefit from our amazing creative industries, and C4’s leadership with a new national HQ outside of London is an important part of building a Britain that works for everyone,” he said at the Oxford media convention.