Architects working on plans for the BBC’s new home in Salford have been asked to draw up designs for a Granada base on the site.
Peel Holdings, owner of the 200-acre MediaCity:uk site, has asked Benoy and Fairhursts Design Group to draw up designs for an office for the broadcaster within the village masterplan.
A spokesperson for Peel said: “There are design practices employed to look at options around the site. These include plans for major broadcasters. As part of this, designs and visuals are being prepared.”
Granada is currently in talks about whether to join the BBC at the 200-acre Mediacity:uk site, or whether to stay in its central Manchester headquarters.
The firm’s decision partly depends on the design proposals it receives for the redevelopment of its Manchester headquarters on Quay Street. It is possible that it could remain there and become an anchor tenant for a rival media quarter.
Ian Simpson and Sheppard Robson, two architects that are already vying for Manchester’s supercasino, are set to go
head-to-head with competing designs for the scheme, which will cover 20 acres at Quay Street.
If it goes to the media village it will get a back plot and be in the shadow of the BBC
Ian Simpson has teamed up with a consortium including Stanhope, British Land, Arup and local developer Nickal; Sheppard Robson is working with Allied London and Building Design Partnership is working with Ask Developments.
Other developers understood to be on the list are Amec Developments and Development Securities. Mark Stretton, ITV’s property director, said a shortlist of three would be decided in the next week.
It is understood that plans for the site include commercial and residential use, as well as space for media companies.
A source close to the project said ITV was keen to stay in central Manchester and create its own media identity. The source said: “This is an opportunity for Granada to create a studio for themselves. If it goes to the media village it will get a back plot and be in the shadow of the BBC. It doesn’t want that.”
It emerged last week that Sheppard Robson will submit designs for the supercasino in east Manchester. Under the Gambling Act, the council was required to re-tender the project after winning with an Ian Simpson-designed scheme.