Sheffield Channel 4 bid: Some of the broadcaster 'may stay in London'

An artist's impression of how the new Channel 4 building could look.
An artist's impression of how the new Channel 4 building could look.

Sheffield's bid to provide a home for Channel 4 appears to have been dealt a blow after the culture secretary said some of the broadcaster’s operations could stay in London.

The government launched a consultation earlier this year about the possibility of moving the channel out of its £100 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.

Indeed, the Conservative manifesto for the 2017 general election said: “Channel 4 will remain publicly owned and will be relocated out of London.”

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

She added: "I am clear that Channel 4 must have a major presence outside London, and potentially increase commissioning."

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.