The University of Chester and the BBC are to work together to open up pathways into employment in the media industry and develop new talent within the region.
The University has signed a partnership agreement with the BBC ahead of the Corporation’s move to Salford in 2011, which will see the creation of a modern, multimedia broadcast and production centre in the North of England as part of moves to better reflect and represent the whole of the UK.
The new centre at MediaCityUK in Salford will be home to around 2,400 BBC staff. Five key London-based departments, including two TV channels and two radio stations, will be making their new homes in Salford: BBC Children’s (including CBBC and CBeebies); BBC Formal Learning; BBC Future Media and Technology; BBC Radio Five Live (including Five Live Sports Extra); and BBC Sport.
The partnership between the University and the BBC will help to identify new talent, focus on learning and development, build relationships within communities, and develop clear pathways into the BBC and the wider industry.
The BBC are particularly pleased to be working with the University on a range of projects, including the development of content alongside BBC Radio Five Live and Radio Merseyside, and a number of targeted challenges with colleagues in Regional News and factual programming which could see the broadcasting of some of the best student work.
Also, the University’s continued relationship with Visiting Professor, Wayne Garvie, Director of Content and Production for BBC Worldwide, strengthens students’ understanding of the global context of media, and at programme level, links with a number of key BBC departments, including BBC People, contribute to the currency and relevance of the University’s media programmes.
Head of Media and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Media, Brendan O’Sullivan, said: “There could not be a better time to be working with colleagues at the BBC, generating and developing ideas, producing innovative and creative content, and showcasing the talent of the future.
“This two-way partnership allows for genuine discussion and provides the opportunity and environment in which Higher Education and the BBC can come together meaningfully to help shape not only the workforce of the future, but perhaps the future of the media industry itself.”
Margaret McClelland, Development Executive, BBC Project North, said: “We are delighted to have signed a partnership agreement with the University of Chester. The new centre in Salford will be a test bed for how we want the whole of the BBC to work in the 21st Century. A BBC that is not just owned by the whole of the United Kingdom, but which is more open and accessible, working in partnership with local communities and educational institutions to showcase the talent and creativity of people everywhere.”
In Salford, by working with the local community and with the developers of MediaCityUK, the BBC hopes to create a new powerhouse of media production and innovation for the North of England. The BBC’s presence should act as a catalyst for change and regeneration, and encourage other creative industries to develop and create new opportunities for talented individuals across the North.