Bristol Talks Up Possibility Of Salford-Style Media Hub

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Bristol City Council says it is looking at Salford's MediaCityUK as a model for an integrated media presence in the city. Its announcement comes as the BBC considers its own plans for its future presence within the Bristol area.

According to Bristol, it is talking to the BBC about sites in the city which have the potential to become a media hub, not only for the BBC but for a range of creative companies. Such a site would house all the BBC's current Bristol facilities - including its world-class Natural History Unit. However Bristol is also keen to attract other BBC depts to the city.

As in Salford, a new media hub would be built through a partnership with the private sector. However the BBC would only move ahead with the project if it was satisfied it could gives real benefits for the licence fee payers (eg savings).

A delegation from Bristol - including the council, BBC and business representatives - visited Salford's MediaCityUK recently to see how it has acted as a catalyst for wider economic regeneration and growth. Council Leader Barbara Janke said: "The media hub would be a physical beacon to the rest of the country - and the world - that Bristol is a leading creative and digital centre. It would act as a catalyst for further investment and jobs, building on the importance of the BBC's presence in the city. The Council is therefore committed to doing all it can to make this project work, but we will only be able to achieve this goal with significant private sector investment. Attracting this support will be a key feature of our collaboration over the next few months."

Lucio Mesquita, Head of Regional & Local Programming at BBC Bristol said: "MediaCityUK in Salford is a powerful example of an ambitious collaboration between the BBC, local government and private investors. It'll be great if we can replicate that ambition in Bristol, whilst delivering value for both tax and licence fee payers. But we could only move ahead if it makes financial sense in the long-term."