Salford University students moved into their new home alongside the BBC at MediaCityUK on Salford Quays this week.
The state-of the-art building, which took £18 million to fit out and three years to complete, will accommodate 1500 pupils and teachers in a cutting edge learning, teaching and research environment.
Jon Corner, director of MediaCityUK for theUniversity of Salford said: “I think we can safely say that the University of Salford now boasts the leading digital and media teaching facility in the UK.
“We’ve introduced pioneering technology to guarantee our students get the best possible education and to put them at the epicentre of the industry they want to be a part of.”
The facilities include HD TV and radio broadcast studios, an immersive research facility, a digital media and performance lab, an integrated post-production facility and edit suites.
Situated in the Orange Building and occupying four floors, developers, The Fairhursts Design Group, have suffused style and art with technology to create a space that inspires creativity.
As well as providing students with the best tools of the trade, the university is forging partnerships with a number of major digital and media companies: including Adobe, Avid, and Carnegie Mellon University in the USA.
New student Antonia Bolcas, who is studying journalism and broadcasting, said: “The building is very striking and impressive; it’s like nothing I’ve seen before in my life.
“I’m really looking forward to studying here and hope to use the opportunities available to eventually work for the BBC.”
Other members of the development team and professional consultants who worked on the project were; Overbury, Buro Four, Halcrow Yolles, Hoare Lea, RPS Group and F&G.
So what is to become of the University’s former home at the Adelphi Campus on Peru Steet in Salford?
For the time being at least, the campus, which includes the Adelphi Building and the Centenary Building, will remain open. They will eventually vacate the site when the Arts Building on the Peel Park campus has been completed.
Andy Barclay, chairman of the Trinity Area Residents Group, explained that there are concerns over the university’s departure. One of the implications will be the loss of foot flow in the area, which will lose trade for nearby businesses.
There are currently no plans for the site or the surrounding plots of derelict land.
Mr Barclay said: “Before the decision was made to move to Salford Quays, the university was planning to develop the existing site. We wish the university well but we feel we are being left behind.”
Salford Councillor Stephen Coen shares Mr Barclays’ concerns and has some ideas of his own for the area around Silk Street in Salford and the soon to be vacant magistrates court in Bexley Square.
“I would love to see a leisure facility created here that is a destination point for tourists and visitors.” said Mr Coen.
He added that people who will add value to the community need to be drawn into the area not just commuters using the streets as a car park.
He would like Salford to follow Chorlton’s lead, creating an independent social environment where exciting developments can prosper.