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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
BBC urged to commit to move north
BBC Manchester
Manchester would be the BBC's largest centre outside London
Ten Labour MPs from the North West have tabled a Commons motion calling on the BBC governors to commit to moving several departments to Manchester.

The BBC has said a planned move for some departments, including sport, was subject to the licence fee negotiation.

A motion signed by the MPs calls for a "clear and unambiguous decision that the move will progress in the interests of the whole of the United Kingdom".

A spokesman said the BBC would not normally comment on a Commons motion.

MPs who signed the motion
Tony Lloyd (Manchester Central)
Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside)
David Chaytor (Bury North)
Jim Dobbin (Heywood & Middleton)
David Crausby (Bolton North East)
Lindsay Hoyle (Chorley)
Helen Southworth (Warrington South)
Gordon Prentice (Pendle)
Janet Anderson (Rossendale & Darwen)
Barbara Keeley (Worsley)

The early day motion said there was concern about recent suggestions the switch of several departments to Manchester may be linked to the outcome of negotiations over the licence fee.

It said it was believed the relocation would benefit not just Manchester and the North West but the whole of the North, and that it was important to all UK regions and nations.

The governors are expected to discuss the Manchester plans on Thursday.

Tony Lloyd, MP for Central Manchester which includes the site of the city's BBC base, said: "Moving a significant part of its broadcasting facilities to Manchester will not just serve this one city but the whole of the North of England.

"At this stage, it would be incredible if the Governors were to reverse their original decision and I look for very positive signals from the Board of Governors that the move is still on."

Proposals to move 1,800 jobs from London to Manchester within five years were announced in December last year.

BBC Sport, children's channels CBBC and CBeebies, and Radio Five Live, were said to be among the departments moving.

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

He added the plans were subject to licence fee negotiation.

Mark Thompson defends the proposed licence fee increase


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