The BBC is launching the next phase of its plans to relocate key departments from London to Greater Manchester in 2010 and have shortlisted two sites for the location of the Media Zone.
The departments relocating from London are Children’s BBC, including the TV channels CBBC and CBeebies, Children’s Radio and Children’s Learning; BBC Sport; BBC New Media and R&D; and radio stations Five Live and Five Live Sports Extra.
The proposed sites have been chosen from a shortlist of four, following a stringent evaluation process conducted by the BBC.
A parallel independent process by the North West Development Agency (NWDA) favoured the same two sites.
Mark Thomas, Director of the BBC North Project, said: “The two sites, Quays Point at Salford Quays and Central Spine in Manchester, have been chosen as ? within the required timeframe ? they offer the greatest potential for a world-class Media Zone that realises all of the benefits of the BBC’s investment.
“The BBC will continue to work with both Manchester City Council and Salford City Council in order to help them develop their remaining proposals so that they maximise the impact for audiences; for the creative industries in the north of England; and for the further regeneration of Salford and Manchester.”
BBC Director of Nations and Regions, Pat Loughrey, will put forward a recommendation for a preferred site to the BBC’s Executive and Board of Governors by the summer.
The Governors’ final decision will be based on whether the plans represent value for money for licence payers and whether the proposal is affordable.
If the Salford Quays site is chosen, the BBC Media Zone will join radio stations Capital Gold, Century FM, Xfm (Manchester) and 100.4 Smooth FM.