I was invited up to take a look around MediaCityUK UK last week. I didn't really know what to expect, I had heard quite a bit about the developments over the past few years but it had always been 'up North' and at the back of my mind.
WOW. It's called MediaCity for a reason, it's a City... for Media, and truly an icon of the North and their desire to exploit media to the full. The 200-acre waterfront site on Salford Quays will soon be home to the BBC and the University of Salford, with the BBC due to start a staggered 'move in' from January 2011 this has the potential to be a real hub for the UK.
The landscape has been totally changed thanks to the amazing work from the Peel Group, who seem to own everything! In fact I think it must be the first time that the BBC and the University will lease their space rather than own it. It has been no small investment for the Peel Group who have said that they have ploughed in some £500M in to the project.
Is it too far out of the City centre? Well, not really, a tram takes you literally to the front door of the BBC building. There is housing, hotels and shops all enhancing this city that has risen from the derelict wasteland.
Only time will tell if this does become a thriving media hub that will possibly lure work away from the existing Soho hub. But it has to be good for everyone. It will either become an amazing asset to the UK market or an amazing flop, let's wish them all success and hope that we will see the investment pay off and create many more jobs in media in the North of England.
I have added some iPhone pictures but take a look at the MediaCityUK website for some amazing 'time-line' snaps.