News Feature

By The Drum, Administrator

November 30, 2005 | 6 min read

Q1 Who will benefit most from the BBC’s decision and how will it change the city itself?

For some time now Birmingham has been a pretender to the throne of ‘second city’, certainly on a media/marketing front, and this move would put paid to that claim. Once the Beeb is here in force Manchester will be able to legitimately take the crown and run with it and I’m sure this will help attract additional, talented people from the Smoke and elsewhere, while at the same time helping us to keep hold of our home grown talent.

Sandy Lindsay, Tangerine PR and Coaching,

Chair of the Marketing Society North West

The same people who pay for it and view it – at the moment will be those who benefit the most – us. If this is a cost cutting exercise then hopefully it is to the benefit of programming in general. As for it changing the city, Manchester has been changing rapidly over the last decade and I’m in no doubt this is all part of that evolutionary process.

Bill Green, Funnel Creative

1800 people moving into Didsbury? They\'ll have to move the village boundaries to Northenden to keep everyone happy! I expect the Lime Tree Cafe to be booked solid till 2015 and Princess Parkway to be chocka from 7 till 9 every morning. Obviously, the city will benefit from millions of pounds of direct investment and the influx of support industries and the influx of a community of influential journalists and decision makers will have positive benefits for the arts, schools, restaurants, conservatory builders, you name it.

Simon Sinclair, Pravda

The biggest beneficiaries will be estate agents and developers with the influx of nearly 2,000 families. That said it’ll also be good for retail businesses and should provide a shot in the arm for the local arts scene.

Graeme Wood, AWA

In my opinion those that will benefit most from the move will be the smart employees who choose to enjoy the fiscal benefits of the relocation opportunity. I don\'t really see that an increase in activity at the BBC will change the city in any way whatsoever, apart from an influx of relocated Londoners.

Dominic Apenteng, TheCircle

Q2 Do you think the move could spark a further de-centralisation of the media, marketing and creative industries? Is this the start of a trend?

I don\'t think it\'s going to spark a trend because it\'s part of the trend itself. The North West already makes more than double the amount of new network programmes than any other region, the music industry is well established here and I think the Boho index named us officially as the Most Creative City in Britain. And it\'s a trend that\'s been going for a while – the JWT merger with Cheetham Bell was an indicator of the importance of the area and it was for similar reasons that my partners and I decided to up sticks and locate Pravda in Manchester, rather than London where we were based at the time.

Simon Sinclair

This is by no means the start of anything! We have 12 people in our team, two of which have moved from London in the past few years. We’re also continually hearing about London agencies opening Manchester offices, or buying Manchester agencies. On a personal level, Manchester is seen as a ‘happy compromise’ between leaving behind the relentless slog and full on lifestyle that is London, with the more relaxed but still-being-in-a-great-city option that is Manchester. Commercially, Manchester can no longer be overlooked by the great and the good.

Sandy Lindsay

Q3 Do you think your industry sector will benefit in any way from a much-expanded BBC Manchester?

The relocation will certainly allow us to engage more of the BBC people in our activity programme. As the leading creative organisation in Manchester, we already have some 400 members from the broadcast sector, our development team will make sure that any newcomers to BBC Manchester, or any of the peripheral business, are introduced to the benefits of TheCircle network and facilities.

Dominic Apenteng

Being a member of the design community I would say yes. For years the design community in the North West, and from a biased point of view, Manchester in particular, has battled against the impression that our output is inferior to London in some way when it comes to ideas and creativity. This simply isn’t true. A move North by the BBC could go a long way in helping to get that message over to clients who choose to spend their Northern money down South. They should stick with Manchester and the talent that’s right here.

Bill Green

Q4 Will career development for the staff that move be as easy in Manchester as it is in London?

As everyone knows, by and large the best TV crews are BBC trained. So once they\'re up here, hopefully they\'ll stay up here and move within the Manchester job community.This will lead to better quality production companies in Manchester and thus stronger job opportunities

Simon Sinclair

For the first time ever, real commissioning power is moving from London; some £275m in commissioning money will be controlled from Manchester. That means there will be no glass ceiling to limit career enhancement, as controller and commissioning posts are pretty much as senior as it gets and we’ll have them in abundance.

Sandy Lindsay

Career development for the staff that move to Manchester will inevitably be more difficult. However, once they’ve sampled the benefits of more personal time and less expensive transport and accommodation I think they will want to stay in the North.

Graeme Wood

Q5 What are the key benefits awaiting the staff that do decide to make the move north?

They\'re immeasurable. Ever since Tim Trapp, Phil Howells and I moved up from the South to start our agency, we\'ve had a much better quality of life outside work. We exchanged our poky London houses for larger ones with big gardens, beautiful country walks, great bars, The Bridgewater Hall, The Lowry, being able to park outside restaurants – the BBC staff are going to love it.

Simon Sinclair


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