The London press, and especially the Daily Mail, has gone to town over the decision by the BBC to relocate many programmes and their staff to Media City UK in Salford – note to those in the South East, Salford is a city and it is not Manchester – by whining incessantly about the area and how it is supposedly a hotbed of crime. But none of those complaining ever go and see for themselves.
Your transport right to the front door
So, for the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, and all the others down there in London who think that Salford is a suburb of Manchester and that anyone visiting has to have an armed escort in tow when they visit, here is a short guide to the destination that is Media City. Yes, I have visited this place, no I didn’t need armed backup, and no I didn’t encounter any trouble.
Media City: south view and footbridge
Nor do the folks from Peel Holdings’ security team give the punters any trouble: their presence is noticeable if you look for them, but otherwise all outdoor areas are openly accessible. Getting there is not a problem, either: the Metrolink light rail system goes almost to the front door of the studio complex, and runs frequently, even at weekends.
Now the North West HQ of the BBC
The whole area is clean and litter-free, and you can see in to the BBC buildings, where presenters and production staff can be seen coming and going. That this is the Corporation’s home in the North West can, moreover, not be in any further doubt as the former BBC HQ on Manchester’s Oxford Road has just been demolished. By yesterday there was rubble and little else left.
Impressive: Imperial War Museum North
The Ship Canal is bridged by two footbridges at this point, and on the south side is the imposing and distinctive shape of the Imperial War Museum North, designed by Daniel Libeskind and opened in 2002. Access to the permanent exhibition space is free and visitor numbers have consistently been ahead of initial projections. This building never makes it into the Mail’s Salford Quays horror stories.
Media City also hosts ITV's Coronation Street
There is also the Lowry Centre (also free) and an outlet mall to tempt folks to stop by. All are contained within an area that is easily walkable and has step free access. As can be seen, the architects’ attention to detail has extended even to the bridges across the Ship Canal, and the area around the Metrolink terminus. And there were no crims to be seen. Perhaps they have weekends off.
Perhaps Paul Revoir (crazy name, crazy guy?!?!?) and his pals will one day get out of their cosy Kensington offices, demean themselves to travel by Tube to Euston, and thus journey north to actually experience the area they have devoted so many column inches to demonising. They may be pleasantly surprised by what they encounter. They may even spend their own money doing so.
OK, they’re career hacks and I made the last bit up. Mail – no change there, then.