Leeds is 'the place to be' says council as it welcomes BBC's plan to move journalism jobs to city

Leeds City Council has welcomed the BBC's transformation plan which is set to bring new jobs into the city.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 8:07 am

Two BBC News teams, the Learning and Identity team and some of the new UK Insight team are set to move from London to Leeds.

It is part of the broadcaster's six-year BBC Across the UK plan, which aims to give more prominence to stories from communities across the North.

Council leader James Lewis said the plan was "great news" for the city, cementing Leeds as "the place to be".

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Two BBC News teams are set to move from London to Leeds

Coun Lewis 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.

Council leader James Lewis said the plan was "great news" for the city, cementing Leeds as "the place to be" (Photo: PA Wire/Richard McCarthy)

“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."

The BBC has expanded its three-year partnership with the National Film and Television School in Leeds with the aim to strengthen diversity across the UK through 20 funded bursaries.

By 2027/28 the BBC will be spending at least an extra £700m across the UK, which it says will increase opportunities for jobs, training and representation across the country.

The chief executive of Screen Yorkshire, which is based in The Calls, 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.”

Leeds was named as the best place to live and work in the north of England in the latest Demos-PWC Good Growth for Cities Index, which measures the performance of 42 UK cities against 10 categories.

With an average score of 0.6 across all categories, Leeds performed better than all other cities in the North, including Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

The chairman of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership added: "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.

"We recognise that consolidation of creative sector support is key, alongside collaboration, to deliver meaningful growth which is why we’ve launched our search for a partner to deliver a Creative Business Accelerator Programme.

"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."

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