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May 31 2007

BBC confirm move of five departments to mediacity:uk

Today (31st May) the BBC's relocation of five departments from London to mediacity:uk at Salford Quays has been confirmed with an agreement being reached between developers Peel Holdings Ltd and the BBC.

The confirmation ends months of speculation and gives the green light for work to begin on creating the UK's first purpose-built media city on a 200 acre site at Salford Quays, Manchester. mediacity:uk will be an internationally significant hub for the media and creative industries with the UK's leading broadcast, media and technology companies at its heart.

The agreement gives the go ahead for the relocation of five departments to mediacity:uk including BBC Children's, BBC Children's Learning, BBC Sport, BBC Radio Five Live, and parts of BBC Future Media and Technology (including BBC Research & Development). The five BBC departments moving from London will be joined by BBC staff currently based at the BBC site on Oxford Road in Manchester.

The news signals the start of one of the most significant developments in British broadcasting in recent years and will see the creation of a media city to rival other media cities emerging around the world. mediacity:uk is a national project of international importance and will deliver a significant economic boost to the North of England and the UK media and creative industry. Once complete, the development is forecast to deliver �n in additional net value added to the economy over 5 years.

Work is expected to begin onsite within days and the first phase of the mediacity:uk development, which includes the BBC buildings, is scheduled for completion by 2011.

Bryan Gray, Chairman, Northwest Regional Development Agency and Chair of the mediacity:uk steering group, said, on behalf of The Consortium:

"Today is a momentous day for the mediacity:uk project, work will start immediately to create the largest BBC presence outside of London. We're delighted that an agreement has been reached and work can begin.

It's up to us now to move swiftly to deliver this innovative project, build on the BBC's presence and encourage other creative and digital talent to Salford Quays. The vision of a world-class media city is now underway and will ensure creative industries in the Northwest and the UK can compete on a global playing field for generations to come."

John Whittaker, Chairman of Peel Holdings said:

"We are delighted that the BBC has now committed to its move to mediacity:uk. I look forward to working with the BBC and other media partners in developing the world's leading creative, technology and media environment. Peel, supported by our partners Salford City Council, Salford URC and the NWDA, is equally committed to doing what we do best and delivering an iconic development of the highest quality that will benefit not just the North West but the UK as a whole."

Cllr John Merry, Leader of Salford City Council said:

"This is a massive day not just for Salford but for the whole of the Northwest and the city region.

"We now face the challenge of making sure the benefits of this bold decision are shared by everyone. Whether it's new jobs or new educational opportunities or whether it is other economic benefits, we hold this development in trust for the whole of the region."

Felicity Goodey, Chairman, Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company said:

"This is the news we have all been waiting for. It's great news for Salford, for Manchester and the country as a whole. I'm delighted that the BBC will be playing such a major part in the vision for mediacity:uk.

"This is an opportunity not simply for the BBC to reconnect more strongly with all its audiences, but to position itself at the forefront of a new media revolution which is transforming communications across the world. I'm very much looking forward to 2011 and welcoming the BBC to Salford Quays."

The BBC will move to three, high-quality buildings during 2011 as part of phase 1 of the development. The mixed-use buildings include office space, production facilities and a studio block covering 46, 475sq m of commercial accommodation. Land owners Peel Holdings gained planning approval for the three BBC buildings last month (April 2007).

The three buildings lie at the heart of the 200-acre mediacity:uk development and will complement The Lowry and the Imperial War Museum North across the water to form a striking focal point.

Approximately 1,500 London-based posts will relocate to Salford Quays in 2011 and an estimated 800 staff, currently based at the BBC in Manchester, will also join them on the new site.

mediacity:uk will create a new environment for the biggest brands in broadcasting and new media to flourish. It will deliver the best possible facilities in a purpose-built location, providing a robust infrastructure for major broadcasters to operate 24/7, with the flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the industry.

Once complete, mediacity:uk will deliver over 200 million in additional net value added each year. It will attract private investment of over �0m in the first phase alone, provide space for an estimated 1,150 media, creative and related businesses and provide employment opportunities for 15,500 people.

mediacity:uk has been developed by a partnership of Peel Holdings Ltd, the Northwest Regional Development Agency, Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company and Salford City Council.

For media enquiries please call:

Chris Dessent or Jake Smith
Tel: 0161 236 0600 / Mobile: 07966 252 461
Erica Boardman or Neil Roscoe
Northwest Regional Development Agency
Tel: 01925 400232 / Mobile 07810 528520

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Notes to editors:

  • mediacity:uk will be based on 200 acres of former dockland at Salford Quays
  • mediacity:uk will deliver �0m per annum in additional net value added or �billion over five years to the regional economy, once complete.
  • mediacity:uk will provide employment opportunities for 15,500 people.
  • mediacity:uk will create over 7 million square feet of new and refurbished floorspace for business, retail and residential property.
  • mediacity:uk will create 1,500 trainee posts per year.
  • mediacity:uk will provide space for 1,150 media, creative and related businesses.
  • Salford Quays is already a well-established destination attracting a cluster of media related businesses. Its theatres, galleries, museums, cinema, shops, bars, restaurants and water sports attract more than four million visitors each year; 13,000 people already work here and almost 7,000 call it home.
  • Eleven million people live within one hour's drive of mediacity:uk; the motorway network is on the doorstep and Britain's second airport is just twenty minutes by car. The tram service between central Manchester and Salford Quays takes less than twelve minutes and this service is set to improve further still as part of the mediacity:uk development.



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