This is how Channel 4's new headquarters could look in the city if Sheffield is successful in landing the broadcaster.
The artists' impression was released as bid leaders revealed the move could be worth a whopping £1.4 billion to the city’s economy and create 4050 jobs.
Number crunchers behind the project revealed earlier this week that the move would generate £1 billion over the next ten years, as we revealed yesterday.
But they later came up with additional figures in which they predict having C4 will be worth £1.4 billion over the next 15 years, along with creating thousands of jobs.
A successful bid would also see the broadcaster move into new headquarters built on vacant land near the railway station in Sheaf Square. The channel is also being offered 80, 000 sq ft of office space in the nearby Digital Campus on Sheaf Street.
The bid has been led by Creative Sheffield, the council’s economic development function, and they believe the move could ultimately lead to the creation of a national institute of digital talent and technology in the city.
Business, civic and cultural leaders were lining up welcome the optimistic economic forecast today.
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield Council, said: “Establishing a new world-leading centre for digital technology in Sheffield, with its proud reputation for innovation and forward-thinking, would be an excellent complement to a move by Channel 4.”
Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have a great offer and a city with many attributes that will be attractive to Channel 4.
“What is really pleasing to me is that we now have the confidence and ambition to go for this.”
The growth forecast is based on inward investment with the belief that more media companies would want to move to Sheffield to be closer to C4 commissioners.
Meanwhile, existing firms – such as those who produce TV programmes and design graphics and effects – would win more contracts and be likely therefore to expand.
In addition, having C4 would attract more students to both universities and they would be more likely to stay in the city rather than find employment elsewhere.
Included in the bid was the Digital Report – a document pulled together by industry experts that concluded Sheffield’s digital sector is on the cusp of huge growth.
Professor Vanessa Toulmin, director of city and cultural engagement at the University of Sheffield, helped to pull the report together and said landing C4 could unlock the city’s potential.
She said: “The digital report demonstrates the wealth of creative talent that is latent in the city in some parts and trail blazing in others.
“Having the lynchpin of C4 could be a game changer.”
Digital Report author Laura Bennett added: “What emerged from the creative digital report is that Sheffield is on the cusp of something big, and the arrival of C4 to the city would really help to propel us forward.
“It will bring jobs to our region, create a buzz, and lead to further opportunities.”
The bid was submitted to the department for culture, media and sport last week and the Steel City faces stiff competition from Liverpool, the West Midlands, Bradford, Manchester and Cardiff, who are also understood to be campaigning for the broadcaster.
The Government has said it will move the publicly-owned corporation out of its £100 million London headquarters to another base elsewhere in the UK to help drive creative jobs throughout the regions.
Project leaders have today released new artists’ impressions of how the channel’s new home could look in Sheaf Square.
Those leading the bid point to Sheffield’s heritage as a creative force, such as being home to Warp Films, its central location and ability to deliver major events like Doc/Fest which attracts thousands of visitors as major selling points.
Channel 4 bosses have expressed concern about the relocation and argued it would be costly to move out of the capital.
The Government has not yet revealed a timescale for processing the bids or what the next stage is.