AT the launch event for the new report from think-tank ResPublica on the growth of Salford’s digital industries, Escape Velocity: Growing Salford’s Creative Economy, a panel of council members and industry figures spoke regarding the plans for MediaCityUK in the coming years. One member on this panel was CEO of MediaCityUK based Nine Lives Media Cat Lewis.
“It’s really only when we work together; Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, all these great northern cities, Preston, and then we can actually start to make a dent in the vested interests that are in London.”
The report examines the ways in which the larger northern community could come together to build a stronghold in digital and media operations and that Salford should become a prime candidate for future developments in the field. Organisations such as the Government Digital Service, which is currently based in London, would be perfect examples.
During the session, Lewis and the other panelists discussed the different ways that MediaCityUK can continue to develop, discussing the idea that large media companies such as Channel 4 could make their way up to the region.
This shift in location would be an important step in combatting the divide in the media industry, where London has massive influence and the divide between The North and The South continues to grow.
ResPublica also argues that MediaCity’s growth would be the logical approach to come out of Theresa May’s ‘industrial strategy’ – her plan to close the north-south divide.
“Why is it that £2000 per person is spent on infrastructure in London, while £70 per person is spent out of London?
“It’s absolutely absurd – no wonder we have an imbalanced economy – what do they expect.” says Lewis.