Media City awards Salford companies with £92m

Michael Hunt

Salford City Council has reported £92m of construction work at Media City UK in Salford Quays has gone to local contractors.

This is an increase of almost one third in the last six months alone and makes up around 40% of the £228m of contracts at the site given to Greater Manchester businesses.

The latest report from site developer and Peel Media's construction partners, Bovis Lend Lease, reveals that as of September, 80% of people working at Media City UK live in the North West with more than half from Greater Manchester and 11% from Salford.

Since construction began in 2007, over 600 people from Salford have been employed on site, over 3,500 person hours have been spent on training in construction skills on the site and over 1,500 students have been involved in the project.

Around 466 people are completing or have completed a recognised apprenticeship or qualification whilst on the project including four new apprentices recruited through the Salford Shared Apprenticeship scheme, which offers local college-leavers the chance to gain both qualifications and practical skills.

Opportunities for local businesses to work on the landmark development have been made possible through an award-winning relationship between the public and private sectors called the Salford Construction Partnership.

Led by Salford City Council, the Salford Construction Partnership has created jobs for local people by helping Salford-based companies to get onto the supply chain with Bovis Lend Lease.

The work the partnership and Bovis Lend Lease have done means that an additional 25 companies from Salford are now part of this supply chain allowing them to bid for work at the development as well as on other Bovis Lend Lease projects.

The partnership is made up of Salford City Council, Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company and North West Development Agency.

Cllr John Merry, Leader of Salford City Council, said: "Media City UK is a key player in the growth of our economy and these results show how important it is to the city and local businesses.

"The BBC being handed the keys to their first building just weeks ago is a sign of how fast things are moving at Media City UK and that our vision for Salford's future is becoming a reality.

"I'm delighted that local contractors are already seeing the benefits from the hard work we've done with our partners to get them involved in work at the site.

"The benefits for Salford from Media City UK are longstanding and this is just the beginning to a very exciting time for the wider regeneration of the city."

Chris Marsh, central Salford URC's director of community regeneration, added: "Media City UK is still 18 months away from completion but Salford businesses are already benefitting in real economic terms, while local people have the chance to develop skills and gain qualifications from the development."

Peel Media marked the completion of the highest point of phase one of Media City UK in July.

The first phase includes approximately 80,000 sq ft for retail and leisure use. The space will be divided into a range of units across the site, providing shops, cafés, bars and restaurants.

Bovis Lend Lease and Peel Media is investing around £500m in phase one, which covers more than 36 acres alongside the Manchester Ship Canal. When it opens for business in 2011 the site will be home to one of Europe's biggest HD TV studios, along with a waterfront piazza capable of accommodating up to 9,000 people.

Media City UK will be home to around 5,000 workers, students, residents and visitors when the first phase opens.

The BBC will move nearly 2,500 staff to Media City UK from 2011 onwards, including five departments currently based in London. The keys to the first of three buildings for the BBC were handed over in mid-October.

WHR and Cushman & Wakefield are joint letting agents at the high-profile 5m sq ft scheme.

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