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Friday 11 Jul 2014

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Big boost as over 40% say yes to Salford move

The second round of decision dates for BBC staff from across the departments moving to the new centre for BBC North at MediaCityUK in Salford in 2011 has resulted in a total of 42% agreeing to relocate their roles.

This is a higher than expected figure and represents a big boost for the BBC North project led by Peter Salmon.

A total of 261 staff, working in a wide range of roles from senior journalists and content makers to production management and engineers, who fall into BBC grades 8-11 from across Children's, Learning, Sport, 5 Live and parts of Future, Media and Technology, have been making these important decisions for both themselves and their families.

Commenting on the decisions Peter Salmon, BBC Director North, said: "I am excited that so many people have decided to join us to help create the new BBC North and this news is a big boost for our future prospects.

"What is pleasing is not just the numbers but the quality of the people who are now getting engaged with our new enterprise from some crucial parts of the BBC.

"This group will play a key role in developing our plans and I want to start working with them this year to shape the new future at BBC North.

"While the overall percentage is high for a relocation of this size, I do understand that some people are not able to join us, and I completely sympathise with those colleagues for whom it has not been possible, for a variety of personal and family reasons."

He added: "I am now looking ahead to engaging with the final wave of people who will decide in the autumn and it is also really exciting that additionally more than 500 people, currently working in areas that are not due to move, have also expressed a strong interest in BBC North and finding out more about the opportunities that will emerge."

Children's is one of the departments moving and Ewan Vinnicombe, Producer, Blue Peter, from BBC Children's, said: "For me the chance to be part of a new beginning for the BBC was the deciding factor in saying yes.

"I want Children's to be at the heart of BBC North and you never normally get a chance like this.

"It is certainly a big decision for both myself and my partner, but having an attachment in Entertainment at BBC Manchester a few years ago, and knowing how much I enjoyed living in the area then, I decided I couldn't say no to this opportunity."

Sport is also moving and Dan Walker, TV and radio presenter from BBC Sport, said: "Having worked and lived in Manchester there is no fear-factor for my wife and family moving north.

"The difficult thing for us is leaving friends and our church in London.

"That said – the move is exciting and I am looking forward to working in an office packed with new stuff and being able to make even better programmes for the BBC."

These latest decisions are a further boost following on from those of senior managers made at the end of April, when nearly 50% said yes (15 out of 32).

An additional 114 people from BBC Sport will make their decisions by 14 July with the result likely to be known by 17 July.

This two-week extension was made at the request of the new Head of Sport to allow an internal structural review to be completed.

Notes to Editors

The BBC is expected to begin moving into the new BBC North in a phased way during 2011, from around Easter onwards.

Other BBC staff whose roles are relocating to BBC North in 2011 will make their individual decisions in the autumn of 2009.

Departments relocation to BBC North at MediaCityUK in Salford are Children's, Sport, 5 Live, Learning and parts of Future, Media and Technology.

An estimated 1,400 roles will relocate from London.

Around 800 staff currently based at BBC Manchester will also move to the new BBC North in 2011.

Peter Salmon started his role as BBC Director North full-time on 1 June 2009, while Richard Deverell, Head of Children's, has already been announced as the Chief Operating Officer for BBC North.

Early indications, including the results from senior managers, show that a higher number of people than expected will decide to move to Salford.

Extensive efforts will be made by the BBC to redeploy staff who are not able to make the move. In the event that redeployment is not possible, the individual may be offered redundancy when the move is finally made.

MC2/BBC Press Office

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