Manchester is already regarded as one of the creative hot spots of the UK. But this reputation is growing – fast. And with the MediaCityUK development in Salford now almost fully operational, the creative kudos of the area is only set to grow. So, to find out more about what’s really going on in the city, The Drum put a series of pertinent questions to 20 different agencies that operate at the coal-face of Manchester’s creative industry.
In a series of feature pages, we look at the agencies' responses, to explore the varying industry perceptions of the city.
Garry Byrne, MD, Reading Room Manchester
Aside from the direct creative contracts that may be available, MediaCity will help cement the North and Manchester in general as the place to do business - from TV to design and engagement, it will lend weight to the area both because of its own presence but also the additional people it will bring who might otherwise not have visited the city. I think the effects of its presence will be measurable far beyond direct sales in the industry.
Paul Heaton, Creative Director, Reform Creative
MediaCity has enhanced and added to the reputation that Manchester is a solid centre of creativity and I think it still has a few more years before we see the full force of MediaCity, when not just the UK and Europe see the region as exceptional but almost every major city around the world will take notice like we all know the reputation of Hollywood. This can only mean a win-win situation for the region.
Paul Casey, Internet Marketing Manager, 11 Out Of 10
There will be many tangible effects from MediaCity being introduced into the area but I feel the main benefit for local businesses is the prestige and associated prestige of being part of this digital/creative movement in the UK. In America the cornerstone of the high tech industry is Silicone Valley and that particular region is home to many of the largest organisations in the world including Apple, eBAY, Facebook and of course Google. We are hoping a similar trend is emerging in the North-West.
Reuben Webb, Creative Director, IAS B2B
More events, more fun, and more work. Specialist suppliers in particular will have a great time servicing MediaCity. This is going to make Manchester the biggest creative industry outside London beyond doubt.
Mike Moran, MD, MojoFuel
I think it can only be good for Manchester. How much of an impact it will have on the city-based agencies versus those that move to the site remains to be seen.
Steve Peters, Code Computerlove
Absolutely. The digital industry has always been about the application of leading edge technologies which MediaCity will play a significant part in moving forward – I have no doubt.
Wayne Silver, Director of New Business, One Marketing Communications
We won’t feel that we need to head to London to post-produce a TV commercial when state-of-the-art facilities are on the doorstep. There will be new areas of expertise and new technological businesses moving in. As a result, there will be a refresh of the talent pool for all of us as potential creative recruiters. And never underestimate the subliminal impact of seeing the Manchester skyline through the window behind Andrew Marr on a Sunday!
Julian Gratton, Managing Director & Creative Director, Red C
I certainly hope so. Nearly three years ago we took the decision to move to Salford Quays to be nearer MediaCity. I think the effect of the BBC being here will certainly have a positive effect on the area and will hopefully be the catalyst for other major corporations establishing their offices here.
Fergus McCallum, CEO, TBWA\Manchester
MediaCity is brilliant for Manchester. As more companies move in there and establish a presence, there will be great benefits for the creative industry and ultimately our clients. It may take time, but the depth and breadth of creativity on offer will be energising for Manchester.
Nick Rhind, Managing Director, CTI Digital
My personal opinion is with the BBC and others at MediaCity headhunting staff from all the leading agencies and providing incentives that many agencies will have a brain drain over the next year to 2 years in the short-term . In the long-term however once up and running MediaCity will do wonders for the industry. The results should be more likely to encourage university students to stay in the region, train them up with all the skills needed and then for them to leave and join the local industry with all those great cutting edge skills. I’m hoping MediaCity becomes the answer to graduates struggling to get their first job, who have lots of enthusiasm but no real work skills.
Simon Landi, MD, Access Advertising
I think it will have an impact on the industry, but it’s up to the industry to engage with MediaCity. If we sit back and wait for something to happen, it probably won’t.