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Will Sheffield make the Channel 4 shortlist?

Dan Jarvis, Star Editor Nancy Fielder, Julie Dore and Mazher Iqbal
Dan Jarvis, Star Editor Nancy Fielder, Julie Dore and Mazher Iqbal
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Bosses at Channel 4 are set to reveal whether Sheffield has made the shortlist for the broadcasters new regional headquarters tomorrow (Wednesday May 30).

Sheffield is in the running - along with more than a dozen cities including Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Bristol, Newcastle and Birmingham - are in the running for the new base.

The move will see around 300 of the broadcaster’s 800 employers moved out of London to the new regional base, while two smaller regional production hubs are also planned.

Sheffield formally launched its bid to host the regional HQ at a press call close to the Park Hill Flats on May 11 - with regional mayor Dan Jarvis, Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment on Sheffield City Council, and young people from specialist media schools, Sheffield College and Sheffield Hallam University.

“We’re saying to Channel 4 if you were a city you would be Sheffield. The city’s creative industries quarter is going from strength to strength - it’s just buzzing with activity. This isn’t just about the here and now - it’s about the future,” Coun Iqbal said.

Meanwhile, Mr Jarvis, who had previously pledged to launch a bid for the city region to become UK City of Culture, said a successful Channel 4 bid was a crucial first step.

“I’m going to do everything I can to to try to secure Channel 4’s presence in Sheffield,” he said.

“Bringing Channel 4 to the city is a vital stepping stone for people thinking about pursuing a bid for the Sheffield City Region of Culture for Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

“It’s a great opportunity and I am totally convinced by the strength of the bid that Sheffield is bringing to the table.”

Channel 4 won an elongated battle with the Government against privatisation and forced to move its entire operation out of London.

Channel 4 say the new regional headquarters must be based in a city with a working population of more than 200,000, travel time to London of less than three hours and a high-level of physical and digital connectivity and infrastructure.

Its creative hubs must be based in a city with a working population of 75,000, a four-hour journey time to the capital and links to a well-developed independent television or digital production community.

Bid chair Richard Caborn said: “Sheffield is presenting a compelling case for Channel 4. The expertise and digital know-how which runs from Kelham to the railway station is unrivalled. Our cultural offerings such as Doc/Fest and Warp are world-renowned.

“We can offer a connectivity and closeness to talent and skills that few others can. We have Hallam and the UTC on our doorstep. All the sites identified can be reached on foot within minutes. And we have the spirit and independence that should remind Channel 4 of its own beginnings as a truly ground-breaking broadcasting force.

“All these components mean that we are unique in cities in being able to respond to the challenge that Channel 4 has set – to develop a creative campus in the heart of Sheffield that can ready it for the 22nd century.”

The winning city will be announced on October 1.