Sheffield would welcome 'partial relocation' of Channel 4 to city

An artists' impression of how the Channel 4 headquarters could look in Sheffield.
An artists' impression of how the Channel 4 headquarters could look in Sheffield.

The team behind Sheffield's bid to bring Channel 4 to the city said they would welcome a partial relocation if a deal cannot be reached to bring the whole of the broadcaster to the region.

The government launched a consultation earlier this year about the possibility of moving the channel out of its £100 million London headquarters to another base elsewhere in the UK to help drive creative jobs throughout the regions.

This led to a dozen local authorities expressing an interest in hosting the broadcaster, including the Steel City, Bradford and the West Midlands.

But culture secretary Karen Bradley now appears to have toned down relocation plans after telling the Royal Television Society convention in Cambridge last week that “relocation may not mean the whole business.”

Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment and part of the team working on Sheffield's bid said the city would be open to either a partial or full relocation.

He added: "The culture secretary has said that Channel 4 must have a major presence outside London by the end of this Parliament in 2022.

“We have always said that we would welcome Channel 4 to Sheffield, where it already enjoys such strong connections through Doc/Fest, This Is England and through our city’s rich cultural heritage.

"But we have also said that such a move has to work for Channel 4 which is why we have also encouraged either a partial relocation or by giving the broadcaster every support should it wish to remain in London.”

A spokesman for the department of digital, culture, media and sport said initial feedback on bids submitted in July would be given "within the next few weeks."

But he added this would not be a final decision on the winning proposal and this aspect would be considered "further down the line at a date yet to be decided.”

Sheffield's bid leaders have previously revealed the move could be worth a whopping £1.4 billion to the city’s economy over the next 15 years and create 4050 jobs.

They have earmarked vacant land near the railway station in Sheaf Square as a potential site to build Channel 4's new headquarters.

The broadcaster is also being offered 80, 000 sq ft of office space in the nearby Digital Campus on Sheaf Street.