Grant package pays for Media City start-up centre

Salford City Council received £8m to enable the creation of the Media Enterprise Centre in the south tower of the studio block.

The council confirmed it has signed a lease for 53,500 sq ft over six floors 'to stimulate both existing and emerging media talent.'

The grant funding is made up of £4.2m from the European Regional Development Fund and £3.8m from the North West Development Agency. The city council will put in additional funding.

The centre will contain flexible office space, specialist training facilities, and advisory services from agencies such as Business Link and Northwest Vision and Media, as well as access to the NorthernNet digital media network. The games industry centre announced last week will also be housed in the MEC.

The NWDA has already given £30m towards the physical development of Media City UK.

Salford City Council will begin work to procure an operator for the MEC in early 2010. Phase 1 of MediaCityUK is due for completion in 2011 and it is expected that the MEC will be operational from summer of the same year.

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