MediaCity:UK is a 200-acre development taking place at Salford Quays on land owned by Peel Media, a division of the Manchester-based Peel Holdings. The main aim of the project is to create a dedicated, purpose-built 'city' that will become home to a number of broadcasting and new media companies, including parts of the BBC.Further reading on theEword locale: Our address and directions | Trafford Park | Salford Quays
As well as world class facilities for broadcasting, which include the largest high definition television studio complex in Europe, it is hoped MediaCity will become a focal point for the local community, expanding upon the commercial and social benefits already brought by the arrival of The Lowry Centre in 1999. Bars, cafes and restaurants will line the development's central area, which, at twice the size of London's Trafalgar Square, will be able to accommodate up to 5,000 people.
From the windows of theEword offices, our team has been able to see the MediaCity development taking shape over the past few years. What was once a barren, flat landscape has become home to growing office blocks and ever-busy cranes and workers, providing an impressive vista and talking point for visitors to theEword.
The first, 36-acre, phase of the development is set to open in 2011, with expansion into the remaining area – as well as possible extensions including a bridge link to Trafford Wharf Road and landscaping to provide a public realm promenade to the rear of Imperial War Museum North – taking place over the next decade.
The BBC will be relocating five of its key departments to the new development, initially bringing 2,500 jobs with Children's, Children's Learning, Sport, Radio Five Live and Future Media and Technology all making the move up north. The site will be the largest BBC presence outside London and is expected to attract other media, broadcasting and digital companies to the area. Overall, it is claimed MediaCity:UK could provide up to 10,000 jobs and add £1billion to the local economy over its first five years.