BBC studio deal completed at Media City

Peel Media, in a joint venture with Satellite Information Services, has agreed a ten-year deal with the BBC setting out terms for using the seven production studios at Media City UK.

Peel's partnership with SIS will see the formation of a new company to run the studios, post-production, content and technical services at Media City UK. The studio blocks are owned by Peel and sit outside the lease agreed for the three BBC office buildings.

The Peel and SIS joint venture will work with the BBC, Salford University and other media partners to develop technologies and services for content creation.

Bryan Gray, chairman of Peel Media, said: "Our studios will be up and running from January and we look forward to creating a radical new environment for leading companies, such as the BBC, to share in the benefits."

Richard Deverell, chief operating officer, BBC North, said: "This new agreement with Peel Media will help ensure that BBC North becomes a leading innovator in digital media and content production in the UK. Additionally we hope that the deal will make MediaCityUK a first choice destination for companies interested in working in partnership with the BBC."

David Holdgate, chief executive of SIS, said: "I am delighted to finalise this agreement and confirm our involvement in running the fantastic new facilities at MediaCityUK, both for the BBC and other users. The opportunities for the broadcast community offered by these new facilities are vast, and we look forward to developing long-term relationships with many organisations within the broadcast community as part of this."

The studios are currently being commissioned via a series of test programmes and will be operational from January when the first live TV shows will be produced.

BBC North begins operating at Media City UK during May 2011 and will commence broadcasting from its three buildings in July. By December 2011, the BBC will be fully operational with a total of 2,300 people working from Salford Quays. BBC Breakfast will also be broadcast from Media City UK by Easter 2012.

Five London-based departments are relocating from London to MediaCityUK – Children's, Learning, Sport, Radio 5 live and parts of Future, Media & Technology. In addition, the BBC's Manchester Oxford Road operations will move to Salford, including regional and local programmes, as well as drama, comedy, religion and radio current affairs.

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