Media City UK overhauls design guidelines and launches website

The Media City UK development in Salford, which will become home to 1150 businesses including the BBC, is turning to design again as it prepares to overhaul its guidelines and launch a new website. The original guidelines and identity were created by Preston-based Wash Design in January, but it is thought that Leeds consultancy Ripe may be developing renewed ones.

Wash Design creative director Andy Walmsley says, ‘We’ve not had any involvement since [January]. It’s a bit confusing.’

Ripe managing director Sam Rainey says, ‘We put a proposal together for brand guidelines. There’s a need to review the existing brand.’

Ripe was initially appointed in September to produce two separate brochures – retail and commercial – aimed at developers from each sector. It was subsequently asked to create a generic brochure, detailing the development offer, which was released last week.

At the same time, a new holding site for Media City UK went live, designed by Code Computer Love. The consultancy was briefed to overhaul the site and create an ongoing digital strategy.

The holding site is aimed at 50 potential creative and media clients that the development plans to target, according to Alex Comyn, account director at Code Computer Love. He says, ‘The idea is for a streaming CCTV video – we didn’t want a static page. It’s like an interactive brochure seen through a digital visual.’

A full website is planned for early next year, and Code Computer Love expects to be involved in further digital development.

‘There are other things,’ Comyn says. ‘It could be Web-based or an installation, but we’ll start exploring that next year.’

Lisa Hill, communications manager for Media City UK, confirms that there will be more design opportunities as the project moves forward.

The first stage of development is due for completion in 2011, and Hill expects signage and public-realm issues to be addressed within 15 months.

She says, ‘We’ll be looking at the site next year and hope to develop a visitor information centre. We might be exploring signage of a digital nature and want to capitalise on creative individuals coming to the area.’

Focus groups are being held by Media City UK, which is looking to consult tenants and local residents on the direction public-realm areas, which include a ‘giant piazza’, might take.

Media City UK is expected to deliver:

• £1.5bn to the regional economy

• 15 500 jobs

• 1500 trainee posts a year

• Space for 1150 creative and related businesses

Media City UK is being developed by Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company, Peel Holdings, North West Regional Development Agency and Salford City Council

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