The team behind an ambitious bid to bring Channel 4 to Sheffield say they are 'confident' of landing the broadcaster following a meeting with TV executives in London today.
The Steel City is one of a dozen local authority areas which has expressed an interest in hosting the broadcaster after the Government said last year that the channel would be moved out of its £100 million London headquarters to another base elsewhere in the UK.
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The channel invited interested parties to a meeting earlier today where more details were revealed about the pitching process and criteria for the relocation.
Channel 4 said initial bids must be in by May 11 and they will be asking for further presentations in June. It is expected a decision on the winning bid will be made in the Autumn.
Sheffield sent a delegation of civic leaders and media executives, such as Sheffield Doc/Fest chair Alex Graham, to the meeting.
Afterwards the group told how they are 'confident that Sheffield can present a very strong case to Channel 4's chief executive Alex Mahon and its chief commercial officer Jonathan Allen.'
Richard Caborn, chair of Sheffield's bid team, said: “We are extremely encouraged by these proposals and feel confident that Sheffield can meet the criteria set by Channel 4 today.
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“We value our excellent workforce, our digital connectivity, our two-world class universities and our close proximity to London.
“We have always spoken of our belief in working closely with Channel 4 so that it can shape it the future of broadcasting and links to emerging technologies.
“The hard work begins now to further demonstrate the strengths of our incredible city and its people and work with Channel 4 to build a future that does for media what we have already achieved for healthcare at the Olympic Legacy Park and manufacturing at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.”
The broadcaster said the new location for the national headquarters must be based in a city with a working population of more than 200, 000 people, with travel time to London of less than three hours and a 'high-level of physical and digital connectivity and infrastructure'.
The meeting heard that two additional creative hubs will also 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.'
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In addition, Channel 4 News will open three new news bureaux, with a trebling of news jobs in the regions by 2020.
Spend on shows made by TV production companies based outside London will also rise from £169m annually to about £350m a year by 2023.
The modernisation is all coming under the umbrella of the '4 All the UK' programme designed to increase the number of jobs in the creative industries in places outside of London.
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.