Channel 4 confirms Leeds and Bristol sites
Majestic building to home national HQ, with new waterfront location selected for creative hub
Channel 4 has revealed the locations of its Leeds HQ and Bristol creative hub as its nations and regions strategy steps up a gear.
The broadcaster today confirmed it was in advanced negotiations to lease space in Leeds’ city centre Majestic building for the national HQ, with an eye to moving in during the latter half of 2020.
Meanwhile, the Bristol hub will be housed in the city’s new waterfront quarter, Finzel’s Reach.
They join the previously-announced location of C4’s Glasgow hub at the city’s Garment Factory in the broadcaster’s new nations and regions structure.
C4 plans to lease more than 25,000 square feet of space on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the Majestic building, which opened as a cinema, restaurant and ballroom in 1922 and later became a nightclub. It is currently being redeveloped by Rushbond Group.
It will house roles across the organisation, including commissioners within entertainment, factual, scripted and E4, the digital creative unit and a new studio for Channel 4 News.
Prior to the full move, C4 will lease a small space in the city centre Platform building in May and then take a larger lease in the West Gate development on Grace Street, with staff set to move to the site from September.
C4 chief commercial officer Jonathan Allan said being in the “iconic” building will put the broadcaster “at the heart of the city centre”.
He added: “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.”
Among the staff moving in September is Caroline Murphy, named today as the new head of C4’s Indie Growth Fund. The former BBC Studios senior vice-president of commercial development joins from Fremantle, where she was global director of strategy and M&A.
C4 will lease 3,200 square feet of space on the second floor of the Fermentation Buildings at Finzel’s Reach, the former home of Courage Brewery that overlooks Bristol’s floating harbour, from this autumn.
With funding from Palmer Capital, developer Cubex has been developing a new community, including homes, workspaces, a hotel and leisure facilities in which 2,500 people will live and work by the end of this year.
Creative agency BDH, which delivered the special effects for BBC1’s Blue Planet II and produced self-help film parody Celebrity Life Skills for C4, has already signed a lease in the community. Cornish creative studio Outlaw has done the same.
C4’s hub will house commissioners in drama, factual and popular factual, as well as its creative diversity team, and will support indies in the southwest, Wales and the Midlands.
The negotiations were led by CBRE on behalf of C4, with Knight Frank and Savills acting on behalf of Cubex.
“The Fermentation Buildings stood out for us as offering both a great location at the heart of the city in reach of transport links, and an historic industrial building with superb facilities on hand for our staff,” said Allan.
“We’re on track and incredibly excited to be opening our Creative Hub in the city this autumn.”