Journalism and creative media students from three of Sheffield’s leading academic institutions have thrown their weight behind the bid to bring Channel 4 to the city.
Students from The Sheffield College, UTC Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University attended a milestone event when city leaders’ formally submitted their bid this month to be the new national headquarters.
Moses Reid, 18, is completing the Journalism UAL Level 3 qualification at The Sheffield College’s Hillsborough campus.
He said: “Having Channel 4 here would be fantastic for students wanting to improve their journalistic skills. Possessing a huge media outlet within our city would allow for quality experience and networking opportunities.”
Moses added: “Another key opportunity Channel 4 brings to Sheffield is a major boost to our city economy. It would show the world that as a city, we are extremely skilled and when given the opportunity, we can outperform and really contribute to the UK's economic progress.”
New Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis and Sheffield City Council Leader Julie Dore were also in attendance as well as The Star Editor Nancy Fielder.
At the heart of the city’s bid are the locations just minutes away from the Midland Railway Station that could provide a new home for the broadcaster, and where the submission was officially launched on May 11th.
They include a potential home at the iconic Park Hill development as well as space at the city’s Digital Campus close to the station. Three options have been identified – a refurbishment, new build or so-called hipster hangout.
Insiders say Sheffield is almost unrivalled in terms of the combination of journey time from London and between other cities around the UK, especially across the North, a critical element of Channel 4’s requirements.
And with Sheffield’s two universities, The Sheffield College and UTC Sheffield close by as well as digital companies such as The Floow, Human and WANdisco in the city’s thriving cultural industries quarter, bid insiders say they have a “compelling case” for a Channel 4 move.
Sheffield is also putting diversity and a network of digital and hi-tech businesses – best demonstrated by the recent announcement of a new £3m Tech hub at Castlegate – at the heart of its bid to Channel 4. The city now supports more than 22,000 digital jobs with a digital gross value added of £339 million.
Bid Chair Richard Caborn added: “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.”
He continued: “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 groundbreaking 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.”
Channel 4 say the new national 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.
The Sheffield College offers creative industries courses including art and design, graphic design, games development, media, music, journalism, performing arts and photography. For more details call 0114 2602600.