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Channel 4 will set up a new national HQ in Leeds in an attempt to boost the way it reflects life outside London.

The broadcaster will keep another headquarters in the capital, but will move roughly 200 of its 800 staff to the West Yorkshire city.

Leeds was chosen above Birmingham and Greater Manchester, which were also on the shortlist.

The channel has also announced it will open “creative hubs” in Bristol and Glasgow, with around 50 staff in each.

It’s all part of a plan to increase the amount Channel 4 spends on programmes outside London by £250m over the next five years.

That means half of its programme budget will be spent outside the capital by 2023, up from 35% currently.

All three new sites will house “key creative decision-makers” including programme commissioners who will have responsibility “for some of Channel 4’s biggest shows and who oversee significant spend”.

The new national HQ will also regularly host executive and board meetings.

Channel 4 News will also open three new bureaux outside London, but they may not be in the same locations.

Leeds on the small screen

  • The city was the home of Channel 4’s Countdown for 27 years until 2009
  • Other C4 shows made in the region include Educating Yorkshire (in nearby Dewsbury) and the Red Riding trilogy
  • Over on ITV, the city has been home to Emmerdale since the soap began in 1972
  • Screenwriter Kay Mellor’s production company is based there, and she has set dramas including Fat Friends, The Syndicate and Love, Lies and Records in her home city

The move has come about after pressure from the government to boost the publicly-owned broadcaster’s presence outside London.

Conservative Party put a relocation in its 2017 general election manifesto, and pushed for a full move.

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