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BBC begins big move north

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BBC North

© BBC

The first BBC employees today started work at the corporation's new northern headquarters at Salford Quays, as part of the "single most ambitious staff move in the BBC's history".

Over the next 36 weeks, hundreds of BBC employees will move from Manchester and London to the BBC North buildings at MediaCityUK, joining the BBC Philharmonic, which relocated at the beginning of May.

The facility will eventually provide a home for the BBC Children's, sport and learning departments, as well as parts of Radio 5 Live and the future media and technology team.

Last month, the BBC offloaded its building on Oxford Road in Manchester, earning an estimated windfall of £10m from the sale. Employees at the facility are now making the move to neighbouring Salford.

The BBC has three main buildings at MediaCityUK - Bridge House, Dock House and Quay House - which will host a range of high-profile shows such as Blue Peter, Dragons' Den, Songs Of Praise and Match Of The Day.

In a blog posting today, BBC North director Peter Salmon said that the move to MediaCityUK finds the corporation at an "important crossroads".

He said: "If we take the wrong turning, allow our enthusiasm and commitment to be lessened, curb our ability and willingness to take creative risks, create a fortress and not an open and honest environment, then it will be our audience who lose out.

"I firmly believe that all of us, those moving from Manchester and London, as well as hundreds who are joining the BBC for the first time, will choose the right direction.

"Working together we can create a new BBC that will forge a new contract with our audiences across the UK, build stronger relationships with our partners and most importantly, continue to make the very best content for TV, radio and online."

A dedicated BBC North website has been launched today offering behind-the-scenes videos of what is "going on behind the glass" at MediaCityUK.

Salmon said that the website and a Twitter account will become "destinations" to engage with licence fee payers and encourage them to "help us furnish our new home with fresh ideas and suggestions".

He added: "So as we throw open our doors, we face an exciting future. Of course we can expect a few unexpected bumps and scrapes, but let's not forget, home is where the state-of-the-art is."

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