The ongoing speculation over ITV's on-off move to Peel Group's development appeared to lurch forward on Tuesday when the deputy vice-chancellor of Salford University told guests at an event that ITV was moving into the same building as the institution.
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Speaking at one of the gatherings being held this week to mark handover of the keys to the 11-storey Orange Building, where the university will occupy 103,000 sq ft over four floors, Adrian Graves boasted that students would soon be working near to, not only BBC, but also ITV staff.
Graves told the 50 or so guests at the site visit: "We know we will have ITV in this very building now."
The impromptu announcement was immediately countered by a defiant "no comment" from Peel's communications staff also present.
However, contractors at the event, which included a tour of the building, later told Place the ITV deal with Peel was "90% there".
There are currently seven upper floors of speculative office space available to let.
Speculation has gone on for several years about the ITV move since the company declared it wanted to consider alternative sites to its Quay Street base in Manchester.
The commercial broadcaster has repeatedly been linked with a cleared site across the Manchester Ship Canal next to the Imperial War Museum North. But that plot is in Trafford and Peel, under pressure from Salford City Council, a close partner and tenant on Media City, are keen to have them in Salford.
Salford University will occupy floors ground to third in the building designed by Sheppard Robson. The space will cater for 1,500 students on 39 courses and include TV studios, radio broadcast studios, research facilities, a media wall in the atrium and performance space, video conferencing facilities and meeting rooms.
The building was constructed by Bovis Lend Lease and will be fitted out by Overbury ready for the first semester of 2011.
A spokesman for ITV said: "No deal has been done. We are continuing to examine a number of options."
Cushman & Wakefield and WHR are letting agents on Media City UK.
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