BBC depts. plan to leave London

Company moving into high-tech MediaCity

LONDON — The relocation of 1,500 BBC staff to a high-tech base in the northwest of England finally looks set to go ahead, after the corporation agreed to terms with the site’s developer.

Five BBC departments, including children’s programming and sports, will move to the site in Salford’s new high-tech MediaCity, as part of an initiative to counter the Beeb’s traditionally London-centric outlook.

BBC director-general Mark Thompson described the planned MediaCity development as a “modern, multimedia broadcast and production center” and said the move would help the BBC “to better reflect and represent the whole of the U.K.”

Preliminary work is expected to begin in Salford within days, with the start of construction scheduled for September. However, the BBC will not move into the site until 2011.

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