MediaCityUK is a 200-acre (81 ha) mixed-use property development on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in Salford and Trafford, Greater Manchester, England. The project was developed by Peel Media; 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 the Broadway Link Road.
|Location||Salford Quays, City of Salford, |
Greater Manchester, England
|Owner||A Peel and L&G Partnership|
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. MediacityUK, an area on both banks of the ship canal, is part of a joint tourism initiative between Salford City Council and Trafford Borough Council encompassing The Quays, Trafford Wharf and parts of Old Trafford. The Quays development includes The Lowry Arts Centre and the Imperial War Museum North.
A total of 200 acres (81 ha) of land was earmarked for the development of MediaCityUK. The first phase of its development was primarily focused on a 36-acre (15 ha) site at Pier 9 on Salford Quays. In 2010 it was announced that the 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 of them, the Pie Factory, was 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 had stated that either BBC One or BBC Two could move to MediaCityUK by 2015 if the confirmed moves were successful however this is yet to happen.
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 the interior design by ID:SR Sheppard Robson. 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.
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 was 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.
In 2017 the Centre for Cities published a report on the impact of the move in the five years between 2011 and 2016, it found there were 4,600 new jobs in MediaCity however 2,000 of them were BBC staff relocated from elsewhere in the country while 1,200 were from existing Greater Manchester businesses relocating (including 640 BBC staff already based in the city) for 1,400 net new jobs created at MediaCity by the move and there was little relocation of other businesses from elsewhere in the country with only 145 in existing businesses moving to Greater Manchester. The number employed in Media within 1 mile of Mediacity was static over the 5 years as cuts in output offset new job growth (and the coverage of the 2012 London Olympics was a peak for BBC Sport). however its economic impact outside Salford was greater creating 4,420 new jobs for existing businesses in the wider city region.
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. The MediaCity site is home to approximately 750 ITV employees at ITV Granada and ITV Studios.
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.
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.
Dock10 is a television facility owner and media services company, located within MediaCityUK, Salford. Dock10 offers a number of services, but its two most notable is post production and The Studios.
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.
Anchorage tram stop is on the Eccles Line of Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system, in the Salford Quays area, in North West England. It opened on 12 June 1999 as part of Phase 2 of the system's expansion.BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 Live (also known as just 5 Live) is the BBC's national radio service that broadcasts mainly news, sport, discussion, interviews and phone-ins. It is the principal radio station covering sport in the United Kingdom, broadcasting virtually all major sports events staged in the UK or involving British competitors.
Radio 5 Live was launched in March 1994 as a repositioning of the original Radio 5, which was launched on 27 August 1990. It is transmitted via analogue radio in AM on medium wave 693 and 909 kHz and digitally via digital radio, television and via an Internet stream. Due to rights restrictions, coverage of some events (in particular live sport) is not available online or is restricted to UK addresses.
The station broadcasts from MediaCityUK in Salford and is a department of the BBC North division.Broadway tram stop
Broadway is a tram stop on the Eccles Line of Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system. It opened to passengers on 12 June 1999 as part of Phase 2 of the network's expansion, and is located in the Salford Quays area of the City of Salford, in North West England.Cornbrook tram stop
Cornbrook tram stop is a tram stop on Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system in the Cornbrook area of Manchester, England. It is an interchange station, allowing passenger transfer between the network's Altrincham, Eccles, Airport and South Manchester lines. The station opened on 6 December 1999 for line transfers and allowed street-level entry and exit to the public from 3 September 2005. It takes its name from Cornbrook Road, between the A56 and Pomona Docks on the Manchester Ship Canal, and was built on what was a Cheshire Lines Committee route to Manchester Central railway station. The stop is one of the most used on the Metrolink network.Dock10 (television facility)
Dock10 is a television facility owner and media services company, located in the City of Salford, Greater Manchester, England. Dock10 offers a number of services, but its two most notable is post production and The Studios.
Its studio filming facility is the best-known part of the company, often referred to as The Studios. It was built as a major part of MediaCityUK, a development in Salford, Greater Manchester. The move saw a number of major productions leave London for the first time and head north to Manchester. The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 all relocated the filming of various shows to The Studios. This included established British shows, Match of the Day and Countdown.
Dock10 also offers other media services, such as post production. Their post-production shows include Match of the Day, Blue Peter and Who Wants to be a Millionaire.Eccles Line
The Eccles Line is a tram line of the Manchester Metrolink in Greater Manchester running from Manchester to Eccles via Salford Quays, with a short spur to MediaCityUK. It was opened in phases during 1999–2000 as part of the second phase of the system's development. The spur to MediaCityUK was opened in 2010. The line contains a mixture of reserved track beds and a street running section.Exchange Quay tram stop
Exchange Quay is a tram stop on the Eccles Line of Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system. It is located in the Salford Quays area, in North West England, and opened on 12 June 1999 as part of Phase 2 of the system's expansion. The stop serves the Exchange Quay office complex and the surrounding area and is often used as a stop for Old Trafford football stadium.Harbour City tram stop
Harbour City is a tram stop on the Eccles Line of Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system. It is located in the Salford Quays area, in North West England, and opened on 12 June 1999 as part of Phase 2 of the system's expansion.Langworthy tram stop
Langworthy is a tram stop on the Eccles Line of Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system. It opened to passengers on 12 June 1999, as part of Phase 2 of the network's expansion, in the Langworthy area of Salford, in North West England.
Langworthy Metrolink stop is located on the corner of Langworthy Road and Eccles New Road (the A57). The area to the south and west of the station is largely commercial and industrial. The area to the north along Langworthy Road mostly comprises terraced buildings. The area to the east of Langworthy Road is currently undergoing intensive redevelopment.
This stop lies within ticketing Zone 2.MediaCityUK tram stop
MediaCityUK tram stop is a stop on Greater Manchester's Metrolink light rail system. It is located in MediaCityUK, in Salford, North West England, and serves MediaCityUK, The Lowry, the Imperial War Museum North and other parts of Salford Quays. It opened on 20 September 2010, as the terminus of a specially-constructed 360-metre-long spur (0.22 mi) from the Eccles Line.Oasis Academy MediaCityUK
Oasis Academy MediaCityUK is an academy in Salford Quays, Salford, Greater Manchester, England. The school has moved into a new building as of 2012.Piccadilly Gardens tram stop
Piccadilly Gardens is a tram stop in Zone 1 of Greater Manchester's Metrolink light rail system. It is located beside Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre, and serves both as a transport hub (by integrating with the adjacent Manchester Piccadilly Gardens bus station), and interchange station (which can be used for changing between Metrolink lines).Piccadilly Gardens tram stop opened on 27 April 1992, as part of Metrolink's Phase 1. The station was rebuilt during 2009 with a wider platform and a new canopy, reopening on 2 November 2009. The stop is one of the most used on the Metrolink network.Pomona tram stop
Pomona is a tram stop on the Eccles Line of Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system. It opened to passengers on 12 June 1999, as part of Phase 2 of the network's expansion, at Pomona Docks in Old Trafford.
It was one of the least-used stops on the Metrolink network in 2016. However, allowance has been made in its design to support its development as an interchange station between the Eccles Line and the Trafford Park Line (to the Trafford Centre via Trafford Park) which is under construction.Salford Quays
Salford Quays is an area of Salford, Greater Manchester, England, near the end of the Manchester Ship Canal. Previously the site of Manchester Docks, it became one of the first and largest urban regeneration projects in the United Kingdom following the closure of the dockyards in 1982.Salford Quays tram stop
Salford Quays tram stop is a stop on Greater Manchester's light rail Metrolink system. It is located beside Salford Quays, on Metrolink's Eccles Line. It opened as part of Phase 2 of the system's expansion, on 12 June 1999.Shiver Productions
Shiver is a British television production company. It is a subsidiary of ITV Studios and one of the largest providers of factual entertainment in the United Kingdom. Some of its productions include Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs, 60 Minute Makeover and Peter Andre: My Life.
Originally Shiver was the factual entertainment and features network production departments of Tyne Tees Television and Yorkshire Television. When ITV Plc was created the separate departments of these two subsidiaries were merged into Yorkshire Television and they were branded as Granada Productions North Factual Entertainment and Features. They were then renamed as the northern factual entertainment and features department within ITV Yorkshire part of ITV Productions. At this point an internal re-organisation took place to disband the management structure of Yorkshire Television and transfer the production business from Yorkshire Television Limited to ITV Productions Limited. The departments were then closed as part of a wider company production review but were re-opened in Leeds as Shiver, a subsidiary of ITV Studios.The Peel Group
The Peel Group (commonly known by its former name Peel Holdings) is an infrastructure, transport and real estate investment group. It owns holdings in land and property, transport, logistics, retail, energy and media. Peel's direct and indirect investments extend to 40m (9 million square feet) of investment property and over 13,000 hectares of land. Peel is one of the largest property investment companies in the United Kingdom, and has its UK head office at the Trafford Centre, in Greater Manchester.
The Trafford Centre which opened in 1998, is widely regarded as Peel's first landmark development. The centre was sold in 2011 to Capital Shopping Centres (now Intu Properties) for £1.6 billion, making it the largest property acquisition in British history and the biggest European property deal of 2011. Other projects which Peel have developed include MediaCityUK, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Gloucester Quays and Frodsham Wind Farm.
The group is led by John Whittaker, who maintains a 75% majority stake in the group, with the Olayan Group owning a 25% stake.UTC@MediaCityUK
UTC@MediaCityUK is a University Technical College for students aged 14–18 (Key Stage 4 and 5) at MediaCityUK in Salford, England, which opened in September 2015.University of Salford
The University of Salford, Manchester is a public research university in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) west of Manchester city centre. The Royal Technical Institute, Salford, which opened in 1896, became a College of Advanced Technology in 1956 and gained university status, following the Robbins Report into higher education, in 1967.
It has 19,995 students and is in 160 acres (65 hectares) of parkland on the banks of the River Irwell.