North to reap dividends of BBC move, say bosses

10th May 2011 Yorkshire

The whole northern part of the country will benefit from the relocation of five major BBC departments to Salford Quays this year. That was the message from director of the BBC North project Peter Salmon, who highlighted the example of Yorkshire, and director-general Mark Thompson.

This week will involve the first staff move as sport, Radio Five Live, children, BBC Breakfast, learning and parts of future, media & technology sections move into the Peel-developed MediaCity. Salmon stressed the move will have wider-reaching benefits. He said: "We’ve never avoided the challenge that the further north from London you go, the lower the approval rating for the BBC.

"That needs improving and we really want to get to work in getting closer to our audience. Radio Five Live have shown the way, taking events to places where it had suffered listener shortfalls, including Hull, Liverpool and the North East."

He added: "There are already strong production companies in the north like True North in Leeds and Sumo in Sheffield and we’re looking to work with more in the long term. We’ve already made a good start. Things like Frankenstein… Live in Leeds have been outstanding. The work we are doing in Yorkshire shows this isn’t just about Manchester."

Thompson said: "The BBC is an anchor tenant at MediaCity, but we’ll be a multiplier too, bringing a critical mass of creative activity to the north."

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