After protracted negotiations Salford University has eventually signed an agreement for lease with developer Peel Media for a new higher education centre at Media City UK in Salford Quays.
The university will take 100,000 sq ft over four floors of a purpose-built block, designed by the Fairhursts Design Group, due to include broadcast, digital media, virtual laboratory, digital performance and creative spaces for use in teaching, project-based study and design.
The university has been in talks with Peel at the 200-acre for more than a year. Early rumours suggested the prelet would be far larger and could include the wholesale relocation of one or more faculties. The final deal will see the four relevant faculties keep a presence on the existing campus at Peel Park.
The university becomes the second anchor tenant at Media City UK, following the BBC, and will open its new facilities in 2011.
Vice-chancellor, Professor Michael Harloe, said the focus will be on employer-led and postgraduate learning and research collaboration.
Digital media specialist John Holland, a former Head of Interactive TV and Digital Text Services at the BBC, has been appointed by the University to lead its new initiatives relating to Media City UK.
Harloe added: "There is a new media revolution happening across the globe, and the university is pioneering a nationally significant development here in Salford.
"Our vision is to create, at the heart of Media City UK, ground-breaking ways of engagement for the benefit of our students, our staff and our community and industry partners. We are confident this will become a catalyst for future change within the higher education sector."