Aerial view in April 2011
|Location||Salford Quays, Salford, Greater Manchester, England|
|Owner||The Peel Group|
MediaCityUK is a 200-acre (81 ha) mixed-use property development site on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford and Trafford, Greater Manchester, England. The project is being developed by Peel Media, and its principal tenants are media organisations and the University of Salford. The land occupied by the development was part of the Port of Manchester and Manchester Docks.
The BBC signalled its intention to move jobs to Manchester in 2004, and the Salford Quays site was chosen in 2006. The Peel Group was granted planning permission to develop the site in 2007, and construction of the development, with its own energy generation plant and communications network, began the same year. Based in Quay House, the principal tenant is the BBC, whose move marks a large-scale decentralisation from London. ITV Granada completed the first phase of its move to MediaCityUK on 25 March 2013, followed in two stages by the northern arm of ITV Studios: the second stage involved Coronation Street being moved to a new production facility on Trafford Wharf (next to the Imperial War Museum North) at the end of 2013. The Studios on Broadway houses seven high-definition studios, claimed to be the largest such facility in Europe.
MediaCityUK is to be developed in two phases. The 36-acre (15 ha) first phase was completed in 2011, and the second is dependent on its success. Metrolink, Greater Manchester's light-rail system, was extended to MediaCityUK with the opening of the MediaCityUK tram stop on 20 September 2010 and further extensions are planned. Road access was improved by the construction of Broadway Link Road.
Salford Quays, at the eastern end of the Manchester Ship Canal on the site of the former Manchester Docks, became one of the first and largest urban regeneration projects in the United Kingdom after the closure of the dockyards in 1982. It forms part of an area known as The Quays, a joint tourism initiative between Salford City Council and Trafford Borough Council, which also encompasses Trafford Wharf and Old Trafford, on the Manchester side of the ship canal. As well as Salford Quays, The Quays development includes The Lowry Arts Centre and the Imperial War Museum North.
A total of 200 acres (81 ha) of land have been earmarked for the development of MediaCityUK. The first phase of MediaCityUK's development was primarily focused on a 36-acre (15 ha) site at Pier 9 of Salford Quays. In 2010 it was announced that an ITV production centre would be built on Trafford Wharf in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.
In 2003 reports emerged that, as part of the plans for the renewal of its Royal Charter, the BBC was considering moving whole channels or strands of production from London to Manchester. Early discussions involved a plan where the BBC would move to a new media village proposed by Granada Television at its Bonded Warehouse site at Granada Studios in the city.
Proposals to relocate 1,800 jobs to Manchester were unveiled by BBC Director General, Mark Thompson, in December 2004. The BBC justified the move as its spending per head was low in northern England where it had low approval ratings and its facilities at New Broadcasting House in Manchester needed replacing. An initial list of 18 sites was narrowed to a short-list of four during 2005, two in Manchester – one at Quay Street, close to Granada Studios, and one on Whitworth Street and two in Salford – one close to the Manchester Arena and one at Pier 9 on Salford Quays. The site at Salford Quays was chosen in June 2006 and the move north was conditional on a satisfactory licence fee settlement from the government.
The chosen site was the last undeveloped site at Manchester Docks, an area that had been subject to considerable investment and was emerging as a tourist destination, residential and commercial centre. The vision of the developers Peel Group, Salford City Council, the Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company and the Northwest Regional Development Agency was to create a significant new media city capable of competing on a global scale with developments in Copenhagen and Singapore.
Salford City Council granted planning consent for an outline application for a multi-use development on the site involving residential, retail and studio and office space in October 2006 and consent for a detailed planning application followed in May 2007. In the same month the BBC Trust approved moving five London-based departments to the development. The departments to be moved were Sport, Children's, Learning, Future Media and Technology and Radio Five Live.
Construction started in 2007 with the site owner, Peel Group as developer and Bovis Lend Lease as contractor. The media facilities opened in stages from 2007. The first facility being the Pie Factory, which was located in a refurbished bakery. It featured three large sound stages suitable for drama productions and commercials. In January 2011 Peel Media received planning permission to convert on-site offices used by Bovis Lend Lease during the construction of the first phase into the Greenhouse.
The first trial show took place in November 2010 in Studio HQ2. The half-hour test show featured a power failure and a fire drill, which involved a full evacuation of the audience and crew. The first programme filmed at MediaCityUK was Don't Scare the Hare in February 2011, and the first to transfer was A Question of Sport, the same month. BBC employees started transferring to the development in May 2011, a process that took 36 weeks. BBC Director General Mark Thompson confirmed that up to a further 1,000 jobs could be created or transferred to the site. In January 2012 the BBC was accused of not supporting the community by MP, Hazel Blears, after it was reported that only 26 of 680 jobs created at the development had gone to residents of Salford.
Channel 4 has expressed an interest in moving some activities to MediaCityUK. The BBC has stated that either BBC One or BBC Two could move to MediaCityUK by 2015 if the confirmed moves are successful.
Buildings and facilities
Traditional street names are not used in the development. The main thoroughfares are styled blue, white, pink, yellow, orange, purple and green where street furniture and coloured ambient lighting will be colour-coded to match. A stylised map of the site has been devised. Landscape architects, Gillespies regenerated the brownfield site to create public spaces. The focal point is a piazza and landscaped park, which stretches to the ship canal around which the buildings are located. The piazza's two distinct areas, The Green and The Stage are capable of holding events for up to 6500 people. In front of The Studios there is a free-standing big screen, which is viewable from the piazza.
The BBC occupy three buildings: Bridge House, Dock House, and Quay House, all designed by architects Wilkinson Eyre. With simple forms intended to harmonise with their waterfront settings, the buildings provide 450,000 square feet (42,000 m2) of accommodation with the BBC occupying 330,000 square feet (31,000 m2) of office space.
- Quay House is the BBC's 135,000-square-foot (12,500 m2) main building from where BBC Breakfast, Match of the Day, BBC Radio 5 Live, North West Tonight and BBC Radio Manchester are broadcast.
- Bridge House is where Blue Peter, Mastermind, Dragons' Den, CBBC, and BBC Bitesize are produced.
- Dock House contains the BBC's Research & Development and Religion & Ethics departments. In November 2011 BBC Radio 6 Music teams moved from New Broadcasting House into Dock House, where some programmes for BBC Radio 4 are made.
- The Orange Tower is an 11-storey building, designed by architects Sheppard Robson. It is a glazed structure with four types of cladding, including one made of folded aluminium in a diamond pattern. It houses departments from the University of Salford on three floors and on seven floors, staff from ITV Granada.
- The Studios on Broadway, contains seven high-definition studios, claimed by Peel Media to be the largest such facility in Europe. The largest studio has an area of 12,500 square feet (1,160 m2), making it one of the biggest in western Europe. Fitting began in 2010 at a cost of £22 million, in time for the BBC's move in summer 2011. The seven studios vary in size; the large studios are on the ground floor, and the smaller studios on the first floor. The larger of the two audio studios, sitting on hydraulic jacks to insulate it from noise generated in the surrounding studios, is dedicated to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The studio block contains offices and the glass-fronted, 16-storey Holiday Inn hotel.
- The Pie Factory occupies the former Freshbake factory, which after closing in 2006, was converted by Peel Media into a TV, film and commercial production facility. The bakery's facilities were renovated into three sound stages, anxilliary and office space. It opened in 2007 and was the first working studio complex at MediaCityUK.
- The Greenhouse designed by architects Stephenson Bell, is a refurbished three-storey office block that has been converted into small, flexible office suites for small companies in the media and creative industries.
- TheHeart and NumberOne are the residential elements of the development, providing 378 apartments in two tower blocks. TheHeart is a 22-storey apartment building on the quayside and NumberOne, another 22-storey building, is next to the studio facilities.
The opening swing footbridge at Salford Quays links MediaCityUK with Trafford Wharf on the southern bank of the ship canal. It was designed by Wilkinson Eyre in association with Gifford. The bridge's main span is 213 feet (65 m) when open and provides a 157-foot (48 m) wide navigation channel accommodating ships' superstructures up to 66 feet (20 m) in height. The developers specified it to be "a unique and memorable landmark". Its visibility is created by a curved bridge deck with an offset pivot mast and array of supporting cables in a fan or sail shape. It has seating benches and is lit at night. The bridge, constructed with funding from the Northwest Regional Development Agency, is the final link in a circular walking route connecting the development with The Lowry and Imperial War Museum North. It was officially opened by Rowan Williams and John Sentamu, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and was opened to the public in May 2011 after landscaping works were completed.
The development is powered by a gas-powered trigeneration energy plant producing electricity for cooling and heating using water from the ship canal. It is more than twice as efficient as conventional grid electricity and helped the development gain BREEAM sustainable community status. The communications network is one of the most advanced in the world, with more than 20 million metres of fibre-optic cable capable of delivering the internet speeds required for media production.
The architecture at MediaCity has been criticised by the editor of Building Design magazine Ellis Woodman, who describes it as "a crazed accumulation of development in which every aimlessly gesticulating building sports at least three different cladding treatments. The overriding sense is one of extreme anxiety on the part of the architect. Quite how the BBC has stooped this low is hard to fathom." The development was awarded the Carbuncle Cup by Building Design for the worst new building in 2011. Owen Hatherley writing in The Guardian criticised the development as "an enclave, easily closed off from the life of the rest of the city".
Approximately 2,300 BBC staff are employed at MediaCity. In July 2010 it was announced that the BBC Breakfast programme would move to Salford Quays. It is claimed that the development will create up to 10,000 jobs and add £1bn to the regional economy over 5 years. In 2009 the BBC estimated that moving to Salford would cost nearly £1 billion spread over twenty years. but in May 2011, Director General Mark Thompson claimed the cost of moving was much less.
BBC North is one of eight national business divisions of the BBC based here, that includes the following BBC departments, BBC Breakfast, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Research, BBC Sport, BBC Learning and the BBC Philharmonic. BBC North West has also relocated to the site.
ITV Granada was interested in relocating but negotiations with the developers, Peel Media, were abandoned in 2009 amid a financial dispute. After a change of management at ITV Granada, talks resumed in January 2010 and in December the decision to move to MediaCityUK was announced. A production facility was constructed on Trafford Wharf to house the Coronation Street sets that transferred from Granada Studios in 2013. In March 2013, Granada Reports was broadcast from MediaCityUK signifying the completion of the initial phase of its migration from the Granada Studios in Quay Street.
Satellite Information Services
Satellite Information Services (SIS) has occupied an office at The Pie Factory since 2006 and in 2010 formed a joint venture with Peel to manage the studios. In 2011 SIS announced it would move its headquarters from London and awarded a £3 million contract to S3 Satcom and SATCOM Technologies for the provision of a nine earth station broadcast teleport on Trafford Wharf. SIS announced the launch of its teleport in July 2012 and opened offices in the Blue Tower a month later.
University of Salford
The University of Salford moved its media-related teaching and research to the MediaCityUK site in October 2011. The move will controversially cost the university more than £2.25 million in rent per annum until 2020.
A diverse mix of about 40 service companies, along with small companies offering ancillary services such as casting and camera hire, occupy The Pie Factory and The Greenhouse. Antix Productions moved into offices in The Greenhouse in 2011. In 2012 the Rugby Football League opened an office in The Greenhouse to facilitate the administration of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
In 2008, Hope High School in Salford was taken over by Oasis Community Learning, an evangelical Christian organisation, and renamed Oasis Academy MediaCityUK; its new premises in Salford Quays, on the edge of the MediaCity UK site, were completed in September 2012. UTC@MediaCityUK, a University Technical College backed by the University of Salford, The Lowry and the Aldridge Foundation, specialising in the creative, media and music industries opened in 2015.
The MediaCityUK tram stop opened on 20 September 2010, part of the Metrolink light-rail system serving Greater Manchester. It lies at the end of a 360-metre (0.22 mi) spur from the Eccles Line, which was built as part of Phase 3 of the Metrolink expansion project. Trams run to Piccadilly via Harbour City and Cornbrook.
Vehicular access to the Quays has been improved by the construction of Broadway Link Road, which links the site to the M602 motorway at junction 2, and by the provision of car parking. The high-rise 2116 space multi-storey car park was completed in August 2009. It is a pre-cast curved structure clad in a mixture of aluminium mesh panels and shaded aluminium tiles, comprising 11 floors of parking above the development's energy centre and commercial units.
Stagecoach Manchester provides the high-frequency "City Connect" bus service linking MediaCityUK to East Didsbury, Manchester city centre, Salford Central and Salford Crescent railway stations, the University of Salford and Salford Shopping Centre.
Footpaths and cycleways to Manchester city centre and 300 cycle racks encourage healthy and green ways of accessing the site.
- Salford Quays Milestones: The Story of Salford Quays (PDF), Salford City Council, retrieved 21 August 2009
- "Welcome to The Quays", Quays Partnership, retrieved 12 October 2011
- Media City Planning Guidance 2007 (PDF), Salford Council, retrieved 3 October 2011
- "MediaCityUK", Living IN Salford, Salford City Council, retrieved 6 October 2011
- "Council welcomes ITV plans to move Coronation Street to Trafford Wharf", Trafford Council, 16 December 2010
- Snoddy, Raymond (21 November 2003), "BBC may switch channel to North", The Times, retrieved 7 October 2011 Subscription or UK public library membership required
- Brown, Maggie (10 May 2004), "ITV fears for shared Manchester studios", The Guardian, retrieved 7 October 2011
- Ottewell, David (19 November 2003), "Granada moving, but only next door", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 7 October 2011
- Breen, Rozina (7 December 2004), "BBC plans for Manchester move", BBC News, BBC, retrieved 6 October 2011
- "Thompson says BBC 'must keep up'", BBC News, BBC, 8 December 2004, retrieved 7 October 2011
- Gibson, Owen (22 October 2005), "BBC a step closer to Manchester move", The Guardian, retrieved 7 October 2011
- Deans, Jason (15 June 2006), BBC: It's Salford! Maybe..., Guardian News and Media, retrieved 6 October 2011
- Planning Application 06/53168/OUT, Salford City Council
- Planning Application 07/54178/REM, Salford City Council
- Keeling, Neal (31 May 2007), "BBC move is on", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 7 October 2011
- "BBC Salford move gets green light", BBC News, 31 May 2007, retrieved 7 October 2011
- "Media City, Salford: This is the BBC", building.co.uk, 18 September 2009, retrieved 20 July 2011
- "Thoroughly Satisfying Welcome to the Pie Factory at MediaCityUK", The Pie Factory, retrieved 5 August 2011
- Donohue, Simon (15 January 2007), "Give pie regards to Broadway...", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 7 October 2011
- "Green Light for the Greenhouse", The Peel Group, retrieved 7 October 2011
- Cowan, Katy (3 December 2010), "MediaCityUK produces first show from new studio complex", creativeboom.co.uk
- Linton, Deborah (4 February 2011), "What happened next? BBC favourite A Question of Sport starts new era at MediaCity", Manchester Evening News
- Turner, Ben (11 May 2011), "BBC director general Mark Thompson says MediaCity to become 'magnet' to stars as 150 staff move in", Manchester Evening News
- Carter, Helen (11 May 2011), "BBC prepares for move to Salford", guardian.co.uk, Guardian News and Media
- "MediaCity must recruit more locals", BBC, retrieved 24 February 2012
- "mediacity:uk – Channel 4 doesn't rule out involvement", How-Do, 27 March 2007
- Conlan, Tara (10 May 2011), BBC could move another channel to Salford, Guardian News and Media
- "Case studies mediaCityUK", The Landscape Institute, retrieved 10 October 2011
- "MediaCityUK: where the streets have no name in Salford", BBC News, 24 September 2010, retrieved 25 September 2010
- "Site visit: Inside Media City UK", Place Northwest, retrieved 6 October 2011
- "BBC North", Wilkinson Eyre.Architects, retrieved 3 October 2011
- Salmon, Peter (17 September 2010), "MediaCityUK – there's a lot in a name", BBC Blogs
- "BBC 6 Music moves to MediaCityUK", How-do, 6 March 2012
- Pritchard, Owen (19 October 2010), "First Look Sheppard Robson's Mediacity masterpiece", Architects Journal, retrieved 3 October 2011
- "ITV Granada move to MediaCityUK confirmed, Corrie off to Salford", How-Do North West, 16 December 2010
- "The Studios, MediaCityUK", BBC, retrieved 6 August 2011
- "Studios – MediaCityUK", mediacityuk.co.uk, retrieved 19 July 2011
- "Peel Media secures £22m funding for MediaCityUK studios", Manchester Evening News, 16 February 2011, retrieved 6 August 2011
- "MediaCityUK background briefing" (PDF), MediaCityUK, retrieved 6 August 2011
- "Manchester MediaCityUK", retrieved 10 August 2011
- "The Pie Factory", MediaCityUK, retrieved 9 October 2011
- "Media City Footbridge", Wilkinson Eyre.Architects, retrieved 3 October 2011
- "MediaCity Footbridge", Gifford UK, retrieved 6 October 2011
- "Archbishops first to step onto MediaCityUK bridge", North West Development Agency, retrieved 9 October 2011
- "Technology", MediaCityUK, retrieved 9 October 2011
- Merrick, Jay (2 September 2011), "BBC's new home is named worst building in UK", The Independent, retrieved 9 October 2011
- Glancey, Jonathan (1 September 2011), Carbuncle Cup 2011: MediaCityUK is crowned Britain's ugliest new building, Guardian News and Media, retrieved 11 October 2011
- Hatherley, Owen (20 July 2012), "The story of the BBC, as told by its buildings", The Guardian, retrieved 25 September 2012
- "The BBC at MediaCityUK", BBC, archived from the original on 24 April 2009, retrieved 23 November 2007
- "BBC Breakfast moving to Salford", BBC News, 14 July 2010
- "BBC confirm move of five departments to mediacity:uk", MediaCity, archived from the original on 28 September 2007, retrieved 23 November 2007
- Pierce, Andrew; Bilsborough, Jack (7 August 2009). "BBC move from London to Salford could cost £1 billion". Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
- "£190m - the real cost of BBC's Salford move". Manchester Confidential. 10 May 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
- "ITV pulls out of MediaCity move", BBC News, 11 March 2009, retrieved 20 June 2011
- Conlan, Tara (11 January 2010), "Coronation Street set to be demolished", guardian.co.uk, Guardian News and Media
- Kozlowski, Lee, "ITV looking to move to Salford Quays office space", needofficespace.com, retrieved 24 April 2013
- "Coronation Street move approved by Trafford Council", BBC, 11 February 2011
- "ITV completes phase one migration to MediaCityUK", The Peel Group, retrieved 24 April 2013
- "Peel toasts 'extraordinary year' at Media City", Place North West, 22 December 2010, retrieved 13 October 2012
- "Activating the MediaCityUK satellite teleport", Landmobile, retrieved 11 October 2011
- "SIS opens doors to new centre at MediaCityUK", SIS, 22 August 2012, retrieved 13 October 2012
- "SIS LIVE announces the launch of new teleport at MediaCityUK", SIS, 10 July 2012
- Bevir, George (5 July 2012), "SIS LIVE teleport moves north", retrieved 13 October 2012
- "University of Salford opens at MediaCityUK". BBC News. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- "University of Salford Media City rent revelation", Salford Star, 4 April 2011, retrieved 3 October 2011
- "The Greenhouse", MediaCityUK, retrieved 5 August 2011
- Rosser, Michael (31 August 2011), "Antix moving to MediaCityUK", Emap, retrieved 8 October 2011
- "RFL open base at Media City", Code13 Rugby League, retrieved 19 January 2012
- "Salford Oasis Academy MediaCityUK", Salford Star, 10 February 2010, retrieved 11 January 2011
- "Academy reaches new heights!", Oasis Academy MediaCityUK, retrieved 6 October 2011
- "UTC@MediaCityUK Press Release", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 6 November 2013
- "Metrolink trams pull in to MediaCityUK station for first time", Manchester Evening News, 20 September 2010, retrieved 25 September 2010
- "MediaCity Salford Quays", S.C.C., retrieved 6 October 2011
- "City Connect 50", Stagecoach Bus, retrieved 4 September 2012
- "MediaCityUK", Salford Council, retrieved 5 August 2011
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to MediaCityUK.|