ITV Agrees MediaCityUK Move

16 December 2010

ITV has reinforced its commitment to production in the north west after agreeing terms with Peel Media Ltd to move the company’s Manchester base to MediaCityUK in Salford Quays in 2012.

Adam Crozier, Chief Executive ITV plc, said: “It’s terrific news for ITV and all of our people based in Manchester that we have agreed this deal with Peel Media Ltd.  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.

“ITV is already one of the UK’s biggest investors in original content and as we progress our Transformation Plan which is focused on growing our national and international production and broadcasting business, it is vital that we have a modern, fit-for-purpose, creative hub outside of London. 

“Coronation Street is an incredible brand and as we celebrate its 50th anniversary, it’s fantastic news that we are able to invest in the 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.”   

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 waterway to the main MediaCityUK complex.

A dedicated site has also been earmarked for ITV across several floors within MediaCityUK’s Orange Building, providing modern accommodation equipped with the latest technology for ITV Studios’ production and management teams, ITV regional news, and support staff from across the business.

Capita Symonds’ real estate division provided ITV with strategic property advice throughout the discussions with Peel and other landowners within greater Manchester. This has involved detailed due diligence and negotiation of the key commercial points of the deal up to legal completion.

... 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...

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. ITV Studios is the region’s biggest producer of original content, with over 700 hours of programming made annually.  

The very latest developments in technology and production facilities are set to be incorporated in the new Coronation Street complex. Plans for the site alongside the historic Manchester Ship Canal include a new external film set – built to greater scale than before to equip the soap for the demands of future broadcasting developments, whilst also replicating the original appearance of Weatherfield. The production centre would also include two sound stage buildings, specialist production facilities and offices, dressing rooms and meeting space for production staff and cast.  

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.  ITV’s regional news team will broadcast from a dedicated studio within the Orange building.