Star date: 4th April 2012


A new report by Salford City Council shows that even on its own figures Salford people have not been getting decent jobs at MediaCityUK or even at the wider Salford Quays.

At MediaCityUK the vast majority of jobs, as predicted, have been working in security, shops and in part time hotel work. Also, as predicted, the Council report states "A number of companies located at MediaCityUK have re-located from elsewhere and as such have bought a substantial workforce with them"

Full story here…

Salford MediaCityUK Salford MediaCityUK Salford MediaCityUK
click image to enlarge

Hundreds of millions of pounds worth of public money has been poured into MediaCityUK, not least of which has been the £650 a day for `deprived areas consultant' Chris Marsh to find jobs for Salford people (see here).

So far, when it comes to jobs, MediaCityUK has been a complete failure, even when Salford Council is trying to spin the opposite to its own councillors.

A report published this week for Salford councillors' Scrutiny Committee, reveals that the vast majority of jobs obtained by Salford people have been in security, hotel work and shops.

The largest number of jobs have been at the Holiday Inn, which has taken on 57.6 Salford residents. Unless some of them have heads and some fingers missing this would indicate a large number of low paid, part-time jobs.

Booths, the rich person's LIDL, claims to be employing 32 Salford residents, or 34% of its total staff. But only two people out of ten were finally employed following a pre-employment training course run by Salford City College and extensive course recruitment from the Skills and Work service and JobCentre Plus.

As has been well documented (see here), the BBC only employed 16 Salford people. The original BBC figures added another eight who were on six month ambassador contracts at £3.64 and £4.92 an hour sorted by the Salford Foundation (see here). However, this new report states that even of these eight, only four were from Salford, with the other four from Trafford.

The report adds, "A number of companies located at MediaCityUK have re-located from elsewhere and as such have bought a substantial workforce with them, for example, approximately two thirds of the BBC staff have re-located from offices in London or Oxford Road in Manchester. Therefore, the new opportunities so far have tended to be in sectors such as facilities management, hospitality and retail…"

…And, er, security. G4S has taken on 15 Salford residents too.

As predicted by the Salford Star and academics way back in 2008 (see here and see here) the majority of jobs have been low paid, part time and hardly the quality employment that people were led to believe. Which is not the return expected from spending hundreds of millions of pounds of public money (see here).

In its desperation to put a positive spin on employment at MediaCityUK and the wider Salford Quays area, Salford Council uses some really unusual statistics – like, for instance, that Scream Management, based at the Pie Factory, has "10 employees with 10% from Salford", which equals, er, one employee

…Like, for instance, that The Studios (a Peel Holdings/SIS partnership) has 49% of its employees residing in Greater Manchester, of which "17% of those reside in Salford"without actually giving out any numbers.

The Studios do, however, have a scheme, paid for by Salford City Council and its Future Jobs Fund Legacy (well you didn't expect Peel Holdings to finance it did you? [see here]) that has got two Salford people helping out in the Studios for 12 weeks in partnership with CRIS (Creative Industry in Salford).

Elsewhere, the biggest building scheme in Salford for decades has led to a mighty seven Salford employees at Balfour Beatty; while facilities management company, COFELY has taken on two apprentices, although the report doesn't state whether they are from Salford.

The whole report is based on very loose facts and very loose assumptions about the real employment picture at MediaCityUK. The report states itself that "At present there is no published data available for the numbers of businesses and employment levels for MediaCityUK"

However, "based upon local intelligence" and a "sample survey" it claims that there are "over 2,700 people" employed at MediaCityUK, of which "approximately 17% of these jobs are taken up by Salford residents".

The `local intelligence' is Salford Council's own Business and Funding Team, plus added input from Skills and Work. The `sample survey' is based on surveys of 48 businesses out of 85 at MediaCityUK. And all told, out of the Council's estimate of 2,700 people employed at MediaCityUK, a further Council estimate of 459 jobs, based on its 17% guesstimate, have gone to Salford people. Except for two things…

Firstly, nowhere in the report does it say whether any of these jobs are new jobs or whether they were already in existence. For instance, one of its MediaCityUK case studies trumpets coin sorting company, Scan Coins Ltd, which has 62.5% of its 64 employees from Salford. The company has been based on the Quays for over 15 years. So was that 62.5% included to beef up the 17% figure?

Secondly, all the report states is that the jobs have been "taken up by Salford residents"...Does this include people who have moved from elsewhere onto the Quays? Does this include people who already had a job at one of the companies but who already happen to live in Salford?

The whole picture is incredibly spurious because, as the report states "At present there is no published data available for the numbers of businesses and employment levels for MediaCityUK"…

No-one is providing real figures on how many new jobs for Salford people have been created through the millions and millions of pounds worth of public money being spent on MediaCityUK. The only true figures have come from the BBC – 16 new jobs for Salford people.


• If you are looking for a job at MediaCityUK, don't bother trying to find one through JobCentre Plus. The Council report states… "The companies at MediaCityUK use a variety of mechanisms to promote their vacancies. Many companies use their own web sites, social media, specialist recruitment agencies or informal networks rather than the JobCentre Plus network…"

• The report also states that only 6% of people working at Salford Quays are Salford residents.

Our main photo shows Salford City Council Leader, John Merry sporting a security vest at MediaCityUK

Peter Thompson wrote
at 14:56:18 on 21 January 2013
No surprises there then.The planners always make up grazy 'employment potential' figures which I am sure includes those building the place. Recent ASDA STORE plans mention bringing 1000 jobs to an area. Now way does any ASDA branch employ that many locals... this give them some clout when looking for planning permission or in this case investment. Even BBC jobs do not often offer 'good' wages for the minions.
Adam wrote
at 22:45:53 on 17 April 2012
Could anyone who has commented on this please answer a few of my questions about Media City and the lack of jobs for local? I need first person interviews, please can someone help just a few questions over email! I would really appriciate it.
Adam wrote
at 18:05:46 on 17 April 2012
Hi! Could anyone who has cOmmented on here please answer a few of my questions about the move to Media City? I would really appriciate it! It's for an assignment and i just need a few answers over email! Please could anyone help??
Sec Curity wrote
at 13:11:04 on 13 April 2012
Nice picture of merry wearing a security jacket . Perhaps he is hoping Paul Massey will employ him when he gets booted out by the electorate .
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 20:21:49 on 07 April 2012
UoS, have you looked at the alternatives? Tories or Lib Dems? I'm no fan of the modern Labour party, but the other two main parties scare the living piss out of me.
UoS wrote
at 10:50:42 on 07 April 2012
Everybody complains about how awful the Council are - who wants to bet it will be another Labour landslide at the council elections next month? Moan all you want but you muppets keep voting for them!
Mark Armstrong wrote
at 10:50:37 on 07 April 2012
and the winner is!! Peel Holdings :) sorry about all the hopes and dreams that anyone had about jobs but they are now all stored in an offshore account under a tax efficient company sheme.
Manson wrote
at 10:49:42 on 07 April 2012
Proof , if any more was needed , of how the Swinetown Cretins have ripped us all off by the legal mugging called council tax . Time to crawl out of the gutters , People , and smash these leeching parasites , and smash them into the gutter where they belong .
Ian OBrien wrote
at 10:48:26 on 07 April 2012
Winston Smith is a person who generally comments with good sense. He is an asset to these pages, if he will not mind my saying so. But, Winston, as I have just explained to Sam - this idea that the people of Salford are expecting high level jobs in media and the creative arts. It is a red herring to suggest that is the problem. It is easy - suggesting that this as the issue - for the likes of Merry and Ms Matthews and everybody else involved in this theft of land, cash and resources, to put forward an argument against it's detractors. In doing so they are able to dismiss the real charges and the real problem, which is not that there are no jobs, but that there never will be. The investment was ours and the benefits will not be. People are angry now for the same reasons they were angry 20 years ago when the council gave huge plots of what would be almost priceless land away to developers to change the old docks to the 'Quays'. There were promises of jobs then too, and promises of how this shining star in Salfords crown would do wonders for the area. Go for a walk around Salford; the precinct,or even Ordsall a hundred yards away, and look for Shangri La. It isn't there. The millions are being made, but the trickly down effect is a fantasy. Forget the jobs issue. Let us see the BBC using some of out tax money to help educate and train kids from Salfords underclass. If we see this then we might believe that in 20 years it will all be worthwhile, if not for us then at least for our kids. But guess where our kids will be working in 20 years time? Yup. Same place as Salford people are working now - part time in bars and hotels, cleaning up other peoples shit without even enough hours to claim working tax credit. There is my two bob mate (again lol)
Ian OBrien wrote
at 09:02:17 on 06 April 2012
Sam. Please try to understand that this is not about jobs. I know that we of Salford, being traditionally ill educated may appear stupid to the casual observer, but even we know that you cannot take some 50 year old brick layer from an Ordsall dole que and have him hosting BBC Breakfast, or directing groundbreaking new dramas, or reporting from the Helmand Provice with Kate Adie and pulling down a 100k per year. Are you really unable to grasp this? Do you really think us that bone dumb? The people of Salford are not angry because we do not have the skills to produce Panorama. We are angry because we have been lied to once again for the benefit and bank balance of others. And, having been lied to yet again, we do not even see 'auntie' show willing. For gods sake (sorry Hayley, if that is blasphemy, but you guys would make a saint swear!!) a few apprenticeships to teach Salford kids how to open doors for their betters?!?! Is that all we are going to see after the financial investment we have put in and the bullshit we have endured? And, have the BBC responded to any of this in any honest or meaningful way? If they did, I must have been watching ITV! Have they shown how, in a year, or two, or five, how these young 'apprentices' are going to be taught how to direct groundbreaking dramas, or report live from the Helmand Provice or run Panavision camera? Heck no. Of course not because this is not the BBC in Salford. This is the BBC. Period. It may have physically moved North, but this antiquated old fossil of an organisation will never leave London. It will probably never leave the 1940's, if we are honest. Okay. So in all fairness I cannot speak for the people of Salford, but speaking for me I can tell you that I am not angry not to have been offered the Chairmanship of the the BBC. I wouldn't know what to do with it any more than I could explain the finer points of Associational Editing or a Differential Rewind. No. I personally am angry about the back room, closed door, underhand deals which have left the natives of Salford entirely out of pocket - again! It is not enough that they decided, without asking, whether Salfordians wanted millions of their hard earned , hard paid tax money to go to the BBC, or the billionaire board at Peel, or even to pay for some mealy mouthed representative of the Lord God himself as Chaplain. But, after all that, they still have the audacity to tell us that there will be jobs if we just manage to live another 20 years. And in the meantime there are no homes, no jobs, no essential frontline services and no budget!! No f*cking BUDGET!!! Left over for us. The people who made this city what it is. The people who built Salford from the ground up. So, Sam, please, and Hayley too, before you come here and throw in your two pennorth, please at least show us enough respect to have actually understood what it is you are commenting on. Because it isn't about whether or not somebody from Salford got a job which formerly belonged to somebody in London. If that were all it was, we would have probably let it slide. It isn't and it never was. Guys, c'mon, you really must keep up!!
Winston Smith wrote
at 09:01:30 on 06 April 2012
I personally have no doubt that the BBC is an Oxford-Cambridge Old Boys' Network. If you are a right wing public schoolboy you join the Conservatives (and Dad's Corporation) and if you're a 'pretend left wing' public schoolboy you join the BBC or the Labour party. It's just THE WAY IT IS. The BBC moving to Salford was politically motivated. Salford Council are SHIT. SHIT TIMES TEN. They demonstrate their incompetence, ignorance and loyalty to anti-Salford causes more frequently than I can be bothered with. BUT - why or how the BBC landed in Salford should not be relevant now. They're here. Complaining that they didn't just land and hand out jobs immediately is just not going to get anywhere. Hayley is RIGHT - stuff like this takes TIME. Salford isn't traditionally a 'media town' (obviously if you think about it). If Salford people are capable of fighting for it (and I can't emphasise enough that they ARE) then things will even out over the next few years and people around here will benefit. The BBC aren't perfect and we all hate the TV 'tax', but *compared with the Council/Tesco/Peel 'Axis of Evil'* they are open and honest (yes, really), and like it or not, are a big Opportunity for Salford, but it will take time.
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 22:10:35 on 05 April 2012
Sam, boo fucking hoo so a few jobs have been moved from London to the north. About time, the economic life of this country is so centred on London that it is only by moving institutions such as the BBC & government departments to the provinces that the balance can be redressed. Furthermore the righteous anger of Salfordians is more aimed at the 'Crazy Gang' running the City, well I say running the City, I actually mean giving massive amounts of money to mega rich companies while ignoring the citizens they purport to represent.
Bob Grantby wrote
at 20:38:12 on 05 April 2012
As Matt says , I also know BBC staff who live in the Chorlton area . They decided Salford was a shithole , and had no interest in residing in a slum . They are unaware of ANYONE living in Salford employed by the BBC . Would Marsh , Spicer or Merry like to comment ?
Harry Hardcastle wrote
at 20:36:34 on 05 April 2012
The BBC move to Salford was influenced by Salford Council Taxpayer funds . Salford Clowncil spouted their usual shite about how this would bring jobs for Salford .IT HAS NOT . There are a lot of questions to be answered here . Salford Council Taxpayers have been shafted , cheated , ripped-off and conned . Salford Clowncil will answer for this .
matt wrote
at 16:28:10 on 05 April 2012
most of your staff appear to live in chorlton and didsbury... that is not salford! im often chatting with bbc employees in chorlton bars!
Sam wrote
at 16:27:57 on 05 April 2012
If Salford people were to get a job then it means people in the south are put out of work for the sake of a pointless move which is essentially a box ticking exercise for the BBC. It may be unfair that Salford people don't get the jobs, but where is the fairness in qualified and experienced people losing their jobs in favour of inexperienced and under qualified Salford people? If the shoe was on the other foot and the BBC was moving from Salford to London, there would be outrage if Salford people were axed for London workers. BBC Breakfast is a massive organisation and the highest profile BBC move. With the very weak position that ITV Daybreak is in, the BBC are trying to make the move appear seamless and jobs for Salfordians will come later. Also its worth noting that the main presenter on CBBC is from Swinton, and he moved to London in 2010 awaiting the move back to Salford so that he could be 'trained up' to be the face of CBBC. Hayley Matthews below makes some valid comments, perhaps if the Daily Mail views expressed so far were left to one side, you'd see the validity of the comments. Inexperienced people just cannot run the breakfast, childrens and sport departments for the BBC which is the biggest broadcaster in the world. It would become a laughing stock.
Ian OBrien wrote
at 16:26:28 on 05 April 2012
I would like to apologise for once again forgetting to ad my name to the comment in response to Hayley Matthews, who I have come to understand is Chaplain at BBC MediaCity (though she sounds more like a member of the conservative front benches in her comment). But, with this in mind, I would like to ask that she disregard my comment. Not because of my use of the vernacular, but because here is a women who clearly has enough non her plate (though I am guessing fish eggs, rather than mere fish). Ms Matthews is,unless I am very much mistaken, of the Christian faith. And yet she has allowed herself to be appointed 'Chaplain' for an organisation which not only exists to make men rich beyond the dreams of men, but which is also heavily involved with billionaire developer Peel Holdings. It seems like Ms Matthews is confused about what is means to be a follower of Christ. It appears that the money changers are not in the temple, but have rather brought the temple themselves. Her attempting lend legitimacy to this morally bankrupt land snatch operation really makes me feel nauseous. I am reminded of US Air Force Chaplains blessing bombs before they were to be dropped on children. Ms Matthews will - if she has the courage or has not had her short leash yanked by Peel or the BBC - no doubt respond to this comment as do all Christians who are the stooges of the rich an powerful and entirely un-Christian in the way they live their lives - she will come back quoting the bible to justify.....her position. Either that or she will trot out the usual bit about how her faith is personal to her and nobody else business - yak yak yak!!! And I will not be able to respond, because her personal business is hers alone, and the way she interprets her own faith will be judged not by me. I do know one thing though, Jesus was a friend to whores and theives. He loved the poor and needy and desperate. He was no friend to the rich. He preached like a socialist, not like a Thatcherite. I wonder what he is thinking now, as he looks down on Ms Matthews? I can only hope her god is a loving god, rather than the vengeful type. Keep blessing those metaphorical bombs Hayley :)
at 09:27:04 on 05 April 2012
"While I understand some of your frustration, this is about the long game, not short-term quick fixes" Hayley. That is where I, and I suspect most others, stopped reading. The reason? Because we have heard this a thousand times. We have hear things like - Let me be the first to say, I understand your frustration.....before showing a total lack of understanding. We hear it every time some corrupt, fat little man with zero chrisma, imagination or in a Topman suit bends over for a developer on the promise of a bungalow when he retires. We heard it almost 20 years ago about Salford Quays, we have been hearing it about MediaCity and we will hear it again in the future. Whatever you say, whatever facts and figures and explanations you rhyme off, none of it means a thing to us. Do you know why Hayley? Because you are merely trying to defend blatant corruption. You are trying to defend the giving away of vast sums of money, in both tax and potential income, by John Merry and his cronies, at the expense of Salfords most vulnerable people. And you know what? We have heard it all so often that your amateur attempt is predictable and tedious. I do not need to read past the first line to know, at some point, you will be going on about some statistic from Salford who has a good job at Mediacity. Am I right? Without even looking Hayley.....am I right? This is not about jobs or lack of them. This is bigger than that. It is bigger than the BBC or Peel or Mediacity. It is, for us, about knowing that our political appointees have been corrupted to the core and are living high on the hog while we suffer the worst recession in a lifetime. Hayley, we do not have 20 years to see a return on OUR investment. My mum will be dead in two and she doesn't even have a bus that runs past her house to the local shops. THough I note the millions spent on transport infrastructure to get people to MediaCity. Our concerns are more immediate than you seem to grasp. To finish then, and in a nod to the writer Irvin Welsh who helped pioneer the use of the vernacular into a literary art form, I would just like to say - Fuck Off Hayley!! Now, I wonder if I can expand this rant into a play with Ben Kingsley in it, and flog it to the Beeb. Maybe I can pay the phone bill next month!
Fadge wrote
at 09:21:44 on 05 April 2012
So it's a long game . Now I get it .So we are ripped off by the inept clouncil goons extortionate council tax , and forced to endure slashed 'services' and vicious cut-backs , So the clouncil can throw OUR money away on Big Business Deals . But this Deadcity might get 'some return in 20 years ' ???? . Where are the 'jobs for Salford' , you pathetic Clouncil bullshitters ? Merry , Spicer , Marsh and the Crazy Gang should go before a firing squad for Treason against the Salford People .
Anon wrote
at 18:10:08 on 04 April 2012
There are lots of unemployed and under-employed journalists in Salford and Manchester. Yet instead of turning to local talent to fill gaps in the rota, the BBC gave shifts to a freelance based in London. It transpired she wasn't up to the job. A Daily Mail article reporting this mentioned the young, insufficiently experienced girl wasn't able to read a script fluently. She can't spell either. The article also mentioned her CV, and curiosity got the better of me, and I Googled and saw that while her CV/profile has been taken down, it's still viewable online in caches. How does someone who lives in London, can't read scripts fluently, and who can't even prepare a CV without typos get work at MediaCityUK, while lots of people in Manchester and Salford are without work when they're capable of doing the job? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2123316/Stephanie-OKeeffe-The-radio-girl-perfect-face-television.html
Hayley Matthews wrote
at 18:09:27 on 04 April 2012
While I understand some of your frustration, this is about the long game, not short-term quick fixes. Many of the jobs at MediaCityUK were transfers, not posts open to Salford applicants. I would also question three of your claims: 1) Your figures quoted actually show that out of 250-odd jobs well over 100 went to Salfordians ie almost half, yet you say that only 1% of 15K applications got BBC jobs - clever bit of figure work there! 15K applicants for only 250 jobs is going to mean 'only 1% got a job'. 2) As for Londoners being twice as likely to gain a post, many people who were staff already within the BBC had to reapply for either their own or restructured posts on moving to Salford as some departments experienced significant redundancies as cuts were faced across the board. Basic common sense would say that people already qualified for posts and being shunted around the organisation would pick up jobs during restructuring. The BBC has also had to continue seamless production so that we can wtach TV 24/7 as if nobody was as much as shifting a desk never mind half of its entire workforce, all new technology and large staff cuts all in one fell swoop. Finally, yes many of the jobs currently open to Salfordians are for service and hospitality roles but for many of those people it suits their qualifications and experience - you actually insult them yourself by making out that these sorts of jobs are 'less than' good news. 3) Just this morning I spoke with two locals employed by BBC Breakfast working on the production and support side of a national programme who both started a fortnight ago - they were thrilled to be working here. This is where we need to think about the long-game more than ever - people may not currently be qualified or experienced for 'media' posts, but working in the service sector is not and never will be a bad thing - we work where we can best use our skills and personalities. In the long term, Salford University, Salford City College, Skills and Work, BBC Ambassadors and other NGOs (including The Anchor) are working with young people to educate and train them for jobs that would never have been ont he radar locally a year ago but in a decade will transform the prospects of this area. It wasn't ever going to be a quick turnaround, but it is a massive long-term move towards transforming the job and business prospects of this whole area and we shouldn't resent Trafford as they are our neighbours and Coronation Street is being built on their side of the Ship Canal! MediaCityUK only had its official opening a week ago and is still a work in progress, as are our relationships with employers, with local community groups and the media - the next phase will see hundreds of construction and related skilled and unskilled employees back onsite and both Granada and the BBC will continue to work closely with Salford University for the next generation of the workforce currently being trained and educated on MediaCityUK's doorstep. So let's look at the long-game, because this isn't some quick flash in the pan, this is something that can only grow and enable many to work where they couldn't before - but only if we're prepared to be a part of the growth process. You can't just stick a bunch of grapes in a bottle and pour out wine the next day and neither can we open some buildings and a week later expect 50k people to have new jobs. Take heart; it's here, it's on our doorstep and it is changing lives, maybe not as fast as you and I would both like to see, but as I always like to think impatient as I am, you can only throw back one starfish at a time and if we all do our bit, that's a lot of starfish...
Fadge wrote
at 18:07:39 on 04 April 2012
Salford Monkey , let me explain . We unfortunates already existed in this Deadcity before the BBC were persuaded to move to Deadsalford using vast amounts of OUR council tax funds , and other tax breaks. The inept clouncil goons bullshitted about how this investment of OUR money would bring a jobs bonanza for the Salford people . It clearly has not , and never would. So while the Clouncil Cretins cut back on essential services for the disadvantaged , Big Business are still heavily subsidised with OUR taxes . The Salford people have NOT benefited , but have subsidised rich businesses theough our taxes . Merry now bullshits about ' see how things turn out in 20 YEARS ' . Utter bullshit .The spineless ,inept cretins at the Clouncil have taken Salford's Shafted Citizens for fools and will answer for this . Council tax in Salford is extortionate , and now we know why . Salfoed Clouncil , surely the most inept in Britain .
Salford Monkey wrote
at 14:23:13 on 04 April 2012
The BBC may not have employed many Salfordians but I'm a BBC employee and I live in Salford, pay my Council Tax to Salford City Council. Why should I and my colleagues who also live in the City not be counted in the number?
Fadge wrote
at 13:44:05 on 04 April 2012
Where's our squandered council tax money gone , Merry ? Merry , Spicer , Marsh and the rest of the inept, self-serving cretins involved in this farce should go before a firing squad .
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