This is the first in a regular new series of interviews called My Work at MediaCity. The first interviewee is Mark Senior, chief executive of dock 10.
1. Describe your typical working day at MediaCityUK.
I arrive at about 8.30am after dropping my daughter to the school bus. I spend an hour planning the day at Costa or On The 7th – usually a very productive time. 9.30am onwards is usually pretty full on, with a mixture of internal and client meetings. I try and get away by about 6.30pm.
2. To the uninitiated, what exactly does dock10 do?
We manage the studios and campus network at MediaCityUK. We also have a fast-growing post-production business and provide a range of technical services to clients. Our team has a broad range of skills covering broadcast operations and technology and IT, and we are developing a range of innovative digital content services.
3. Do you have much interaction with other tenants at MediaCityUK?
We provide a wide range of services to major broadcast tenants including the BBC, ITV, RED Production Company and Shine, and provide communications services to most tenants on site. We are also responsible for delivering content to the Big Screen on campus in conjunction with tenants and events on the piazza.
4. What’s your overall view on the impact that MediaCityUK has had and is having on the North?
Having worked in Manchester for most of my career , I believe MediaCityUK has had one of the biggest impacts on the region’s economy of any development in the last 30 years. From an industry perspective it has led a huge shift in content production from the south to the north which, together with other initiatives, means that the opportunities in the media sector should be enhanced for many years to come.
5. How has MediaCityUK changed since you opened your base there?
I started at MediaCityUK when many buildings were still being finished and the only tenants were in the Pie Factory. From the time the studios opened in early 2011 the number of people on site has grown from a few 100 to over 5000, and the atmosphere and buzz of the place is now clear for all to feel. Very often we have visitors from other parts of the UK and overseas who haven’t been here before and want a tour – the reaction is always the same – “Wow – I didn’t realise”.
6. What are your favourite aspects about the MediaCityUK site itself?
I always think the backdrop of the canal and the piazza is spectacular and gives the place a really distinctive feel.
7. Can you pinpoint any ways in which MediaCityUK needs to improve?
I think it is all about constant progress – continuing to attract more exciting and creative businesses to be based here. I would have also said a pub, but that now opens this month!
8. What’s been your favourite or most memorable experience at MediaCityUK so far?
There are too many to list them all, but I guess key highlights would be: hosting Sports Personality of the Year in late 2011, getting The Voice to come here, moving a number of ITV shows across from Quay St, and starting a preferred supplier deal for post work with RED Production Company.
9. How do you see the future for dock10 at MediaCityUK?
It’s very exciting – we are clearly beyond the initial start up phase having grown from five people to 105 over three years, and are now focussed on working with customers on and off campus and developing a broader range of innovative services.
10. Can you give us an exclusive about a future show that’ll be in production at dock 10?
We have a number of pilots and new shows that we are working on with production teams, including a dating show and an animal talent show.