The commercial property development at Salford Quays, MediaCityUK, has become one of the largest commercial developments in the last decade, with hundreds of businesses vying for a place within the 200 acre site. However, it is not simply companies such as the BBC and ITV Grenada that have rushed to acquire a commercial property within it – businesses from sectors such as education, satellite broadcasting and the service industry have all chosen to relocate to the modern and functional development.
The BBC are probably the most renowned tenants currently occupying the halls of the new commercial property, with shows such as BBC Breakfast and Match of the Day filmed and broadcast from the Manchester area. Additionally, long-running ITV soap Coronation Street will be the most recent addition to Media City’s portfolio, with the sets and filming equipment to be moved from Granada Studios by 2013. Currently, a production facility is being erected on the Trafford Wharf side of the sprawling commercial property site in order to allow for a higher production value for the soap.
More importantly, Media City has considerably boosted employment in the area, which was desperately needed due to an ever-growing population. The commercial property, in fact, created jobs for 2,300 BBC staff alone, with many more being taken on by small businesses and rival media companies as the site continued to expand. BBC staff are currently housed in three separate commercial property buildings – Bridge House, Dock House and Quay House.
However, it is not only the commercial properties on the site that have proven popular – the two residential tower blocks, TheHeart and NumberOne, have become desirable places to live for many employees of Media City based companies, as well as the many people who commute to Manchester city centre from the outlying city of Salford. The 378 apartments contained within the towers are modern, spacious and – most importantly – serviced by excellent transport links to Manchester.
The development of Manchester Airport City, due to begin in the next year, will no doubt lend even more popularity to the booming area. With hotel, retail and leisure commercial properties all contained on the site, which will be in close proximity to Manchester Airport, international businesses may well set their sights on a commercial property within Media City to operate the UK branches of their companies from.
As there is a range of different sized commercial properties within Media City itself, businesses may find that adaptability need not become a huge issue when deciding to relocate. For example, the University of Salford has chosen to open a higher learning facility in one of the commercial properties available on site, and will have the capacity to base 1,700 students and staff there. Due to the flexibility of the space, and the fact that rent starts at £23 per square foot of space means that affordability is not going to prevent small businesses from establishing themselves there either.
In essence, Media City has become a cornerstone of the UK media industry, offering commercial property space to creative and artistic businesses which often struggle with budgets, availability of space and accessibility to their audiences. Hopefully, as this ever-growing development expands, more small businesses in the North West will be able to take advantage of this success story, no matter what industry they are based in.