Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon has announced new priorities to accompany the opening of its new National HQ in Leeds.
Mahon unveiled the Emerging Indie Fund to support independent production companies, sitting alongside the established Indie Growth Fund, which will be based in Leeds and prioritise investment in BAME-led and digital companies.
In addition, Channel 4 will launch a new academy in 2020 with the aim of attracting people into broadcasting and production from diverse backgrounds, address skills gaps and support the development of talent at more senior levels.
“The launch of our National HQ in Leeds is the start a new era for Channel 4,” said Mahon. “An era in which we will be rooted in and more connected to the lives of the communities that make up the UK. Channel 4 will not just look and feel different but will think and behave differently. We’ll be more accessible to our partners in the industry and more visible to those that may one day work in it. It’s the biggest change in our 37-year history and I’m so proud that we’re now here.”
The first of three new broadcast bases for the broadcaster (with Bristol and Glasgow centres due to open in November), the Leeds HQ will house around 250 jobs and Channel 4’s new Digital Creative Unit, as well staff from the creative diversity teams, the Indie Growth Fund and the Pictures team.
Channel 4 News will also establish a hub in Leeds, alongside a live daytime show launching in 2020.