Hazel Blears on SalfordΓÇÖs “local talent, energy and diversity”
Labour MP for Salford Hazel Blears has hit back on media claims that the BBC’s move to MediaCityUK will be “the end” of the corporation, and has ridiculed suggestions that staff are “being forced to crawl sobbing up the M1”.
“I know the ‘silly season’ is upon us but this is taking nonsense to a new level,” she says, in a letter to editors published on the Manchester Evening News.
The BBC has recently faced many criticisms as part of its decision to move many departments – including BBC Breakfast, Children’s and Radio 5 Live – to Salford’s MediaCityUK, particularly amid claims that senior members of staff won’t be required to relocate, and some may be allowed to rent apartments in Salford as second homes.
However, Hazel believes that the BBC has long-held a “London-centric grip”, and needs to relinquish this in order to represent the whole of the nation.
“The move to Salford is good news for everyone outside of the M25. But it’s especially good news for local people because it hands them the opportunity to make their mark in changing the BBCΓÇÖs identity,” she says.
During its development, Salford’s MediaCityUK has become a melting pot of talent and has attracted corporations and small businesses alike from all over the country.
This coming-together of media talent is akin to the community found in serviced office business centres. This is highly prized by centre operators and is renowned throughout the industry as a unique selling point, creating a thriving environment for businesses and opening up many networking opportunities for companies of all sectors and sizes.
Commenting on the opportunities available in Salford, Hazel adds:
“There is enough local talent, energy and diversity here to help the BBC power ahead into a new era. Those who resist moves to devolve the BBC miss the point. The dinosaurs should get on board or get out of the way.”