21 October 2018   |  Last Updated 18-12-2014 11:29

      Thursday 18, December 2014

      Phil McNulty: Salford move is positive for BBC

      THE well-documented move of the BBC to Salford Quays in 2011 created a buzz of divided opinion on whether the impact on the local area would be a positive one.


      Three years on, the studios are now comfortably settled and Quays News spoke to the BBC’s Chief Sports writer, Phil McNulty and Media Consultant, Chris Horrick on how the transition has gone.


      “The facilities and environment in Media City are both cutting edge and state of the art. There has been great progress in BBC Sport,” Phil admitted.


      Chris Horrock, who is based in MediaCityUK as a media consultant commented,


      “Local communities have benefitted from a safe, free access environment of exciting cultural change.”

      One of the major concerns was the lack of jobs that would be available for people living in the local area. With BBC employers moving up from London, people feared residents from the North would be over-looked.


      Phil Mcnulty disagrees, “I know many of my colleagues on the journalistic circuit who were working on local newspapers in the north have had the opportunity to secure jobs at the BBC. That would never have been available to them had the BBC remained in London.”


      Horrock agreed stating, “Many people are working here who live in Salford and Greater Manchester.”


      Many high-profile BBC employers decided against the move as they felt the logistics would not be suitable for their families. However, Phil insists that the number who made the move out-weighed the number who went against it, although he noted they ‘had to overcome the challenge.’


      “Not everyone felt able to make the move but so many did and colleagues I speak to do not regret it. They are now working in a vibrant, progressive sporting hub to which the BBC is very committed.”


      As well as opportunities for local journalists, Phil believes the presence of the BBC studios has helped boost the development around Media City.


      “The area has been able to benefit because of the BBC's commitment to working with those around it in the general and therefore, it is inevitably a great boost to the local economy. There are now hotels, property developments and so much more. Also with the transfer of many BBC staff to the area, local housing markets can look to expand.”


      Chris Horrick has worked with the BBC on a number of media-related issues and together, they are required to communicate on a daily basis. He admitted,


       “There is room for improvement in terms of communication between the studios and the other local businesses.  I have personally enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the BBC. However, other corporates in the area need to demonstrate more engagement with neighbours.” 

      Overall, both Phil and Chris believe the BBC’s move to Salford Quays is hugely positive both for them, and for the local community.

      Chris stated, “We are witnessing a major breakthrough in how media is delivered across the world with the UK as one of the leading pioneer countries. MCUK will, in the future, be seen as the flagship of world media.”

      Phil added, “The BBC is totally committed to Media City, Salford and the north having made the move and there is no reason at all to see why that should ever decrease. It was a huge financial and logistical commitment and promises to continue that.”


      By Emma Sanders