Board of Governors statement: "At our meeting yesterday (Wednesday 14 June) we considered detailed plans for
the BBC's proposed move to the North West of England based on two short-listed
sites, one in Manchester and one in Salford.
"The Board of Governors has authorised the BBC North Project Team to treat
Salford MediaCity:UK as the leading bidder in principle and conduct discussions
with them on an exclusive basis with a view to them being confirmed as preferred
bidder, provided certain outstanding issues can be resolved within a limited
period of exclusivity.
"Should it not be possible for BBC management to resolve the outstanding issues
to our satisfaction by the end of that period, exclusivity will end.
"The Governors' decision yesterday marks a significant step forward in realising
a vision for a less London-centric BBC.
"Our final decision will be based on two
key factors: whether the move represents value for money for licence fee payers,
on which work is continuing; and the affordability of the project, with a final
decision not able to be taken until the licence fee settlement is known."
BBC Governance Unit
BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said:
"I'm pleased that we have taken another step forward in our proposals to create a major new centre for network broadcasting in the North of England.
"We remain very conscious that our proposal must still meet our stringent value for money criteria and be affordable.
"I believe this presents a unique opportunity for other broadcasters and the independent sector to join us in a project that could bring very significant benefits for audiences and for the economy of the North of England."
BBC Press Office