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16/12/2010

Peel Media Announces ITV Move To MediaCityUK

Peel Media has announced that ITV is to move its Manchester-based operation, including Coronation Street, to MediaCityUK.
Britain's longest-running soap will relocate to a new state-of-the-art production facility to be built on the MediaCityUK site next to the Imperial War Museum North. ITV staff, including the ITV Granada regional news team, will take up residence in offices on the Salford Quays side of the development in 2012.
Adam Crozier, Chief Executive, ITV, said: "It's terrific news for ITV and all of our people based in Manchester that we have agreed this deal with Peel Media. This continues our long and successful relationship with the region which has played such a key part in ITV's heritage as a programme-maker. Coronation Street is an incredible brand and as we celebrate its 50th anniversary, it's fantastic news that we are able to invest in construction of a modern production centre to ensure that the nation's best-loved soap remains at the top of its game for another half a century."
John Whittaker, Chairman, The Peel Group, said: "ITV is an outstanding international brand producing a fantastic range of popular programmes and I am delighted it has taken a strategic decision to move to MediaCityUK. This is a landmark deal for both MediaCityUK and The Peel Group, and is critical in helping to deliver the long-term vision that we share with all our partners."
Bryan Gray, Chairman, Peel Media, added: "Today's announcement by ITV is a huge milestone in the growth of MediaCityUK and will perfectly complement the BBC North headquarters. To have both ITV and the BBC on the same campus, as well as our new partnership with SIS, will act as a catalyst to other like-minded companies to consider making MediaCityUK their home from 2011."
ITV is set to build a bespoke production and studio centre for Coronation Street. The stand-alone facility, which will be subject to a long-term lease, would be built by ITV on a 7.7 acre site at Trafford Wharf, adjacent to the Imperial War Museum North and accessed by a new bridge across the ship canal to the main MediaCityUK complex. The bridge is due to open to the public early in the new year.
Dedicated accommodation has also been earmarked for iTV across several floors within MediaCityUK's Orange tower, providing modern offices equipped with the latest technology for ITV Studios' production and management teams, ITV regional news, and support staff from across the business.
Coronation Street's move to MediaCityUK, which is subject to planning consent from Trafford Council, extends ITV's long relationship with the north west of England. Leader of Trafford Council, Councillor Matt Colledge, said: "I am absolutely delighted that ITV have chosen Trafford as the proposed new site for one of the most iconic streets in Britain.
"The MediaCityUK development is exciting for the whole of the Greater Manchester region, and we are particularly delighted that these proposals would being a significant part of the scheme into Trafford. This investment in Trafford Wharf will enhance the existing site including the developing walkway and new bridge, linking Trafford to Salford and the existing MediaCityUK development."
ITV Studios is the region's biggest producer of original content, with over 700 hours of programming made annually.
In addition to the Coronation Street complex, ITV Studios also has the opportunity to take advantage of MediaCityUK's dedicated production facilities - one of the largest high definition studio complexes in Europe. The studios have now a series of operational tests and will be ready for making the first programmes from Salford Quays in early 2011. ITV's regional news team will broadcast from a dedicated studio within the Orange building.
ITV joins BBC North, the University of Salford and Satellite Information Services (SIS) as key occupiers at the £650 million development. Last month, Peel Media signed a new ten-year agreement with the BBC to deliver an enhanced range of production and technical services at MediaCityUK. The services will be provided by a new company formed by Peel Media and SIS. MediaCity Studios will have responsibility for running the studios, post production, content and technical services at MediaCityUK to meet BBC commitments and the anticipated demands of commercials operators.
(KMcA/GK)
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