Sheffield's Channel 4 bid welcomed by city leaders

Artist's impression showing how the Channel 4 building could potentially look.
Artist's impression showing how the Channel 4 building could potentially look.

An ambitious bid to bring Channel 4 headquarters to Sheffield has been backed by business, civic and cultural leaders.

The Government said it will move the publicly-owned corporation out of its London headquarters to another base elsewhere in the UK to help drive creative jobs throughout the regions.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal.

Sheffield has now thrown its hat into the ring and is preparing a formal bid to try and land the broadcaster.

A number of city leaders have pledged their support and told how a successful bid could 'cement Sheffield as a hub of opportunity.'

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “Sheffield should be an attractive place for them to consider. Recent developments mean it is a city with momentum and when the city centre development is complete an even more attractive place to have an office base.

“I absolutely know that Channel 4 will get a lot of support from all of the business community if it selects Sheffield."

Richard Wright.

Richard Wright.

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield Council, said: “Channel 4, with its reputation for innovative and cutting edge news broadcasting, is a perfect fit for our city. Sheffield is the home to Doc/Fest, one of the largest global documentary film festivals.

"And the city’s enviable transport links and talent have already brought Boeing and McLaren here in recent months. Throw in the city’s two Universities with their journalism and media courses and you have a compelling case for Sheffield."

Winston Hazel, director of Music City Foundation, which is in the process of a £1.2 million crowdfunded takeover bid for Tramlines Festival, said a successful bid would 'cement Sheffield and the region as a major central hub of opportunity.'

He added: "We have solid creative digital expertise in our city which Channel 4 could exploit, and the wealth of talent that comes with it is in abundance."

The Steel City faces stiff competition though as other major cities including Manchester, Coventry, Birmingham and Cardiff are also believed to be preparing bids.

The bid is being spearheaded by Creative Sheffield, the council's economic development function, who have earmarked vacant land in Sheaf Square as a potential base for the new headquarters.

Bids giving a 'statement of intent' have to be submitted to the Government by July 5. It is believed there will be opportunity for more detailed bids to be submitted at a later stage.