ITV close to deal that will shift shows to Salford
Broadcaster in final talks with Peel Holdings over joining the BBC and others in MediaCityUK hub
Sunday 24 October 2010
ITV is close to agreeing terms to consolidate its north-west operations at the MediaCityUK complex in Salford in a deal brokered by its chief executive, Adam Crozier.
The broadcaster is thought to be finally drawing long negotiations with property developer Peel Holdings to an end in a move which will see the long-running soap opera Coronation Street move from its famed outdoors set at Quay Studios.
It is thought that the deal will involve ITV having a purpose-built stand-alone studio facility for the filming of its flagship shows. It will also share some of the top-flight studio space with other broadcasters, such as the BBC, that are clustering in the media hub.
However, in a departure from previous proposed relocation plans, ITV may now accommodate some of its back-office and administration staff in a pre-existing building to help reduce the costs of a move. Using some existing space to accommodate staff could also speed up any potential relocation.
It was reported in January that talks between ITV and Peel were off, but it is now thought that they have continued throughout this period as ITV is keen to ensure it has access to the best technology and studio facilities. Consolidating its operations in the North-west could create a more cost-effective operation.
Peel, which is advised by property services firms WHR and Cushman & Wakefield, has always maintained that a deal with ITV "was never off the table". However, sources said talks have picked up steam since Mr Crozier and John Whittaker, the founder of Peel Holdings, became involved and after the appointment of Archie Norman as ITV chairman.
The new management team is in the middle of implementing a strategic transformation plan to help the broadcaster make savings, bring in new and fresh talent, and reduce its £500m debt tally.
As part of any deal it is likely that ITV will continue to hold its existing studio facilities at Quay Street in central Manchester for the short to medium-term. However, the site could be sold later, as and when values and activity in the property investment market improve. The broadcaster still has a London headquarters, by the Thames, on the South Bank.
No deal has been formally agreed but it is thought an announcement is just weeks away. ITV is still continuing to explore all options while this process is ongoing.
A spokesman for ITV said: "We are examining a number of options regarding ITV's Manchester base to ensure that we have a fit-for-purpose production complex in the North-west."
The £500m MediaCityUK will open in phases during the next 10 years, from the end of this year, and is continuing to attract high-profile occupiers in addition to the BBC. In August it secured Satellite Information Services (SIS) which will relocate from London to occupy a new studio there.
The University of Salford is taking 100,000 sq ft of space at the complex, which is the first purpose-build media community in the UK. When it is complete there will be more than a million square feet of office and studio space, as well as additional retail space.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Tube strike July 2015: Is it still on? Everything you need to know about the industrial action
Eiji Tsuburaya: Godzilla co-creator honoured in today's interactive Google Doodle
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...