MediaCityUK Round-Up: end of 2009 edition

Well here it is folks – the final MediaCityUK round-up of 2009.

As we head into 2010 there’s an awful lot of cash being committed to projects at MediaCity – allow me to draw your attention to a few examples:

  • Over £8m towards MediaCityUK’s MEC (Media Enterprise Centresee here for a map), from the European Regional Development Fund and the North West Regional Development Agency. That money will contribute towards a research hub led by Salford Uni (more details here), a ‘Digital Content Lab’ and the ‘Make Media Centre‘ – a project to help local community groups take advantage of digital media.

    Steven Broomhead of the NWDA says, “We know that MediaCityUK will be a site of global importance in the digital and creative sector and the initiatives based within the MEC will make it a bustling centre of the latest digital and creative thinking.” More details at How-Do.

  • £1m from the government’s Strategic Investment Fund designated to a national ‘centre of excellence’ for the games industry based at MediaCity (last mentioned in October). The centre will be based in the MEC, and is intended to drive creativity, innovation, product development and skills in the UK games industry. More details at Develop.
  • A £15m high speed digital network (‘NorthernNet‘) to help connect the creative industries across the North of England. The project is funded by the North West Development Agency(again) and Northern Way, and will apparently play a ‘key role’ in the delivery of the BBC @North project. (reaching out to digital producers and agencies across the north in a link up with BBC Children’s – moving to Salford in 2011).

With me so far? good. Here’s a few extra MediaCityUK-related news items that you might have missed…

  • BT have been awarded a five-year contract to build the fibre-optic-based communications infrastructure at MediaCityUK. The network will contain more than 20 million metres of optical fibre, with connection speeds of up to 10Gbps. More details at ZDnet.
  • Acting agency MTM Associates has taken space at the Quay West Business Centre in Salford Quays, to be closer to the action when MediaCityUK opens for business. (Crain’s).
  • Broadcast systems firm TSL is going to open a new office at the Pie Factory, MediaCity. David Phillips, MD, said, “This new office is demonstrable evidence of our commitment, not just to the MediaCityUK development but to the expanding broadcast and production work that will emanate from this world-class facility.” (How-Do).
  • MediaCityUK have posted some recent photos of the site on their new official flickr feed – flickr.com/creatingacity, and have a new CGI image as the background of their official twitter – @creatingacity.

So that’s about it for the naughties…but as we speed into 2010 there’s still one big question – who’s gonna be next to sign up? We start 2010 much like 2009 – the BBC and Salford Uni all signed up, but as yet no major commercial tenant.

Perhaps this will be the year ITV joins the party (though that currently looks pretty unlikely) – but with the BBC making a big recruitment push next year and the development nearing completion, hopefully it won’t be long before we’ve got some big hitters to report on.

Finally, thanks to everyone who’s read, replied, commented, emailed, tweeted or re-tweeted anything on the blog this year. Hopefully you’ve found something useful or valuable here…and we’ve got some improvements planned for the new year, so watch this space. (If you have any comments or suggestions you can contact me directly at michael@mediacityblog.com.)

Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Decade!

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