An official bid has been unveiled, but Sheffield has other ideas...
Leeds City Region - the authority that develops economic investment and growth in the city - has announced that it’s developed a bid to become the new home for Channel 4, as part of an plans to develop the region’s burgeoning creative and digital sector.
The announcement comes after an investigation launched by culture secretary Karen Bradley, looking at the benefits of moving the Channel 4’s 800+ workforce away from London in an attempt to increase representation for parts of the country outside of the capital, and connecting the culturally diverse population of the North with the broadcaster.
The authorities, locales, and businesses associated with Leeds City Region have come together with Screen Yorkshire in an “unprecedented show of solidarity” in support of the bid, hoping to recreate an surpass Greater Manchester’s Media City, in Salford.
"Our bid addresses the huge imbalance that’s been allowed to develop, with virtually all investment going into the western side of the UK.” says Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership
"We are confident that working in partnership with Channel 4 our proposals can bring positive impact and benefits to a very wide geographic area, namely the 18.2 million people living on the eastern side of the UK who are currently underrepresented.
"We are convinced our ambition matches that of Channel 4: we’re both innovative challengers who like to do things differently."
However, Sheffield City Council has other ideas. They’ve unveiled plans for a potential northern base for the broadcaster in proximity to Sheffield Station. Sheffield City Councillor Mazher Iqbal thinks Sheffield’s “proud reputation for innovation and forward-thinking, would be an excellent complement to a move by Channel 4.”.
Iqbal goes on to suggest that the city’s Doc/Fest and enviable transport links would make it an ideal candidate for the location, adding “Throw in the city’s two universities with their journalism and media courses and you have a compelling case for Sheffield to be a new home for the broadcaster."
Game on, Sheffield...