UTV leaving home of 60 years

Julian Simmons. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Julian Simmons. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

UTV is preparing to vacate its home at Havelock House on the Ormeau Road where it has been based for almost 60 years.

The company, which was recently bought over by ITV, will be moving to new state-of-the-art, purpose-built offices, the location of which has not yet been secured.

Job cuts are imminent with 43 out of UTV’s total workforce of 134 deemed surplus to requirements. It is understood that the cuts will be made in back-office roles.

A UTV spokeswoman said the move would happen in 2018, “following a full technical build, once suitable centrally located premises are agreed to ensure the new HD studios are the most modern in Europe and fit for future broadcast requirements. This investment underpins ITV’s commitment to UTV’s regional news service”.

She added: “In addition, ITV is currently investing in a complete revamp of UTV’s Stormont facilities to support its new weekly politics programme View from Stormont.”

Household names like Gloria Hunniford and Eamonn Holmes started their careers at Havelock House. Meanwhile one of UTV’s most recognisable faces – Julian Simmons – made his last appearance as a continuity announcer for the station on Friday night.