Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 13:46 UK

MediaCity reaches highest point

View from the MediaCity studio block
The studio block stands more than 300ft (91m) high

Construction of the MediaCity complex at Salford Quays, the new home of BBC North, has reached its highest point.

A topping out ceremony is taking place to mark the completion of a 19-storey studio block, which stands more than 300ft (91m) high.

Site owner Peel Group said it would be one of Europe's largest high definition television production centres.

MediaCity, which opens in 2011, will be the new northern home of the BBC with 2,500 jobs moving north from London.

Peel Media, a division of the Peel group, is investing £500m in MediaCity, which is spread over 36-acres of land alongside the Manchester Ship Canal.

Chairman Bryan Gray said: "Phase one of MediaCityUK is a massive undertaking and the topping out ceremony is an important occasion.
BBC staff will move to the new complex in 2011

"Although MediaCityUK won't be operational until 2011, the size and scale of the development means it has already transformed this corner of Salford Quays.

"Of course, the city will only truly come to life when it is filled with people, and as each day of the construction programme passes, we're getting closer to welcoming the visitors, workers and students who will make this a true media community."

The BBC will be the main tenant, with five departments moving from the capital, including Radio Five Live and BBC Sport.

The BBC's current base in Manchester's Oxford Road will also transfer to the site.

Salford University will also be moving more than 700 students and staff to a new higher education campus at MediaCity.

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