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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 December, 2004, 13:39 GMT
BBC jobs and programmes go north
BBC Manchester
Manchester will be the largest centre outside London
The BBC is to move 1,800 jobs from London to Manchester as the broadcaster moves production north.

The move, to take place within five years, is part of a shake-up that will see 2,900 job losses at the BBC.

BBC Sport, children's channels CBBC and CBeebies, and Radio Five Live, are among the departments moving.

Director general Mark Thompson said Manchester would become the largest BBC centre outside London and a "talent hub" for the North.

Mr Thompson said the plans were subject to licence fee negotiation.

Creative and cultural industries are immense economic drivers for the region, and we are firmly committed to developing them
North West Development Agency
The corporation says money is being invested in Manchester to compensate for previous under-investment in the North of England.

Seven hundred people already work for the BBC in Manchester.

The new media headquarters, research and development and formal learning are also being moved to Manchester.

Programmes currently made in the city include File on Four, The Royle Family and Songs of Praise.

Plans to create a media centre to increase independent film and television production in the North were also outlined by the director general.

The BBC pledged to work with the Producers' Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact) to develop talent not only in Manchester, but also in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull.

Cutting It
Cutting It is produced in Manchester
The corporation also plans to work alongside the North West Development Agency (NWDA) and Manchester City Council to strengthen the media industry in the region.

Manchester Council leader, Cllr Richard Leese, said it was great news for Manchester and the region.

"We have worked hard with the BBC over many months.

"Firstly, to secure their endorsement that the city was an appropriate location for such a significant transfer of functions, and secondly, to translate that principle into a robust and committed programme of change.

"We have the opportunity to create a world class cluster of media and related activity which will help to drive our economy forward, and make the step change in activity we have been seeking for some time.

"A lot of work must be undertaken quickly, and we look forward to working closely with the BBC and other stakeholders in the future to ensure the change programme is delivered in the quickest possible time."

Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the NWDA said he was "extremely pleased".

"England's North West is already a major broadcasting and production centre, and we welcome the opportunity to build on this success.

"Creative and cultural industries are immense economic drivers for the region, and we are firmly committed to developing them," he said.


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