Screen Yorkshire welcomes news of BBC expansion in Yorkshire

River Aire Leeds - Day

March 19th

'The devil is in the detail', says Screen Yorkshire CEO Sally Joynson

The BBC has revealed it will move key BBC News roles to Leeds, launch a peak-time radio service in Bradford and install a new daytime TV commissioner in the North East, as part of a raft of changes outlined this morning. It will also open a new Learning Hub in Hull.

Screen Yorkshire chief executive Sally Joynson said: “The BBC’s expansion in Yorkshire will ultimately bring jobs to the local industry and further boost the Yorkshire screen industries’ reputation for excellence.

Building on the momentum gained by Channel 4’s move to Leeds, these plans demonstrate a genuine commitment to the North, and the BBC’s expansion into Leeds and the North East is recognition that there’s more to the North than Salford and MediaCity UK. But the devil is in the detail, and we look forward to hearing more about what exactly will be involved.”

The BBC’s Look North has been based in Leeds for over five decades and ITN Productions has been based in Leeds for the past year as well. Yorkshire is also a hub for some of the country’s top factual independent production companies, including Candour Productions and True North.

Moving high-profile news jobs to Leeds makes complete sense, as it builds on the region’s 50-year heritage for news and current affairs broadcast journalism. The platform is here and it’s solid.

Screen Yorkshire chief executive Sally Joynson

Through its Connected Campus programme, Screen Yorkshire also works with a number of universities and colleges in Yorkshire – including the University of Leeds, Leeds Trinity, York and York St John – that specialise in broadcast journalism and will benefit from the BBC having a greater presence in Yorkshire.

Joynson said: “It’s win-win. The move could increase the opportunities for much-needed local work experience placements. The BBC will also benefit from the pipeline of young talent that is coming through Yorkshire’s educational institutions. And if Yorkshire can retain graduates, it will strengthen our regional talent pool and build on our case for more programming to be produced here.”

Joynson also applauded the plans to open a Learning Hub in Hull. “Hull is an important part of Yorkshire’s film and TV production landscape, and it’s great news to see the city recognised as a centre for creative talent development.”