Today the BBC announced it plans to relocate a number of its national journalism roles from London to Leeds. Two BBC News teams will move to Leeds; the Learning and Identity team and some of the new UK Insight team. The move is part of the wider “BBC Across the UK” plan and aligns with the government’s commitment to ‘levelling-up’ the north of England and other parts of the UK.
Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council said: “We are pleased to receive more great news for Leeds and the wider region today. The council, along with our businesses and communities, work hard to ensure Leeds is the place to be and it’s great to see that work being recognised.
“Our creative and media sectors are strong and resilient and our population is innovative, diverse and brimming with talent. We also have a superb track record of sourcing and maintaining the latest analytics, mapping current data trends to ensure new and relevant information is available that can help inform debate, ideas and innovation.
“The BBC will be in good company as the region is home to a large number of broadcasters including of course Channel 4’s new northern headquarters. Journalists who make the move will be able to make the most of our strong transport connections to other parts of the UK and the offer of a high quality of life. I look forward to welcoming them in the future.”
Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) and NP11 said: “The scale of organisations attracted to the region from Channel 4, UK Infrastructure Bank, Department for Transport, and now the BBC strengthening its base here, demonstrate the breath of our offering and making it a truly exciting time for the region.
"We are on a journey to further bolster the creative sector across the region and have made purposeful interventions over the past few years in support of this. Last year, the Indie TV and Film Development Fund, launched in partnership with Screen Yorkshire, enabled production companies to continue developing content and forms part of our broader (The) Creative Catalyst programme. With further announcements about The Creative Catalyst to follow in the upcoming months; we recognise that consolidation of creative sector support is key, alongside collaboration, to deliver meaningful growth.
"Broadcaster presence also plays a crucial role in amplifying the activity taking place in the region and provides a platform for a more ambitious and resilient creative sector for the future. This not only allows opportunities for the retention of talent in region, but the ability to tackle workforce diversity and on-screen representation as more content is developed and commissions are made with a regional focus.”
Sally Joynson, chief executive of Screen Yorkshire said: "The BBC moving key roles to Leeds and bringing decision-making to the wider North is welcome news, and we look forward to hearing more about the detail of what exactly will be involved. Increasing its presence in Yorkshire will bring the BBC closer to regional audiences and help Yorkshire strengthen its position as a centre of excellence in the regional screen industries.
“Yorkshire has a strong track record in news and current affairs broadcast journalism, and basing part of the BBC News team in Leeds will help the region build and retain talent, increase access to work experience placements, boost local jobs and hopefully result in more programming being produced in Yorkshire.”