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Wednesday, June 13, 2023

Lovells advises on Salford Quays move

The BBC has reached an agreement with developer Peel Holdings for it to occupy a new broadcast and production centre at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester. The development, which forms the first phase of the mediacity:uk scheme, will become the BBC's new base in the North of England and five departments will relocate from London by 2011. Lovells advised the BBC throughout.

The mediacity:uk site, which is being developed by a partnership comprising the Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company, the North West Regional Development Agency, Peel Holdings and Salford City Council, will eventually cover 200 acres. Plans for three BBC buildings at the site were approved by Salford City Council's planning committee in April.

On 31 May, the BBC finalised with Peel Holdings the detailed terms - including the provision of long term studio operation - under which the BBC will occupy the buildings, and the BBC Trust approved the deal, paving the way for five London-based BBC departments to move to mediacity:uk by 2011. BBC Sport, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Children's, BBC Children's Learning and parts of Future Media & Technology will join 800 staff presently based in Manchester. The move will ensure employees are provided with better technology and buildings, as well as greater opportunities for career development.

Lovells worked alongside the BBC property legal team led by its head of property legal, Peter Farrell. The Lovells team was led by real estate partner Dion Panambalana and projects partner Adrian Walker, with assistance from, among others, associates Stephen Elliott and John Condliffe (real estate), and Sarah Hayes and Alex Harrison (projects). Shapna Roy and Rosemary Miller (projects) also advised.

Dion Panambalana said: "We are delighted to have worked with the BBC property legal team, led by Peter Farrell, in securing this agreement for its relocation to the mediacity:uk development. This is a critical development in the implementation of the BBC's strategy and is evidence of the strong working relationship we have with this important client, following our work for them in connection with Broadcasting House last year."

Peel Holdings was advised by Cobbetts, led by partner Stephen Kinsey, and Addleshaw Goddard, led by Nancy McGuire.