IT’S the dawn of a new era in Salford today.
Many critics thought it would never happen. They’ve been proved wrong.
A special reception will be held tonight celebrating the signing of contracts confirming the BBC’s move to Salford Quays.
BBC director general Mark Thompson will be there, along with others involved in the historic Media City deal.
Visiting the site last year, he described the move as a “compelling vision” and a leap into the future “of global significance”.
The £250m move was given the green light back in January, with the final legal agreement signed at the end of last month.
That means five London-based BBC departments – Children’s, Children’s Learning, Future Media & Technology, Radio Five Live, BBC Sport – will move to Salford in 2011.
It adds up to an estimated 1500 London-based staff posts moving to Media City, along with 800 staff who will transfer from the BBC’s current Manchester HQ in Oxford Road, which will close.
A quarter of the 200-acre site will be occupied by the BBC.
Although it remains to be seen which other companies will join them, the main “anchor tenant” is now in place and will be a magnet for others.
As one chapter of this long-running story comes to a close, another one opens.
I’ll be at Salford Quays tonight and will report back tomorrow.
BBC Media City Move