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ThE MaStEr

ITV 'closes on Salford Quays move'


Tuesday, October 26

ITV is reportedly close to following the BBC by moving its North West operations to the new MediaCity:UK complex at Salford Quays.

Over the weekend, a report in The Independent claimed that the broadcaster was coming to the end of protracted negotiations with MediaCity developer Peel Holdings about the move.

It is understood that the deal, which is being negotiated personally by ITV chief executive Adam Crozier, will involve ITV getting a purpose-built studio facility to produce its shows.

That will include flagship soap opera Coronation Street making the move from its long-running outdoor set at Quay Studios in central Manchester.

At MediaCity: UK, ITV will also share some production space with the BBC and other broadcasters that are gathering at the emerging media hub.

In June, it was reported that ITV was still undecided about the move to MediaCity, despite widespread calls for it to do so from the industry.

However, the broadcaster is understood to have now been persuaded by the prospect of state-of-the-art production facilities at Salford Quays.

ITV is also thought to be interested in cutting its operational costs by consolidating back-office operations in the North West, while also bringing together its technology and studio facilities.

Sources close to the deal claim that talks have gathered pace since Crozier and John Whittaker, the founder of Peel Holdings, got involved in the process. It is thought that an agreement could now be just weeks away from completion.

Should ITV make the move to MediaCity, it is expected that the broadcaster will retain its Quay Street studio facilities for the medium-term, but it could sell them at a later date.

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."


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