Governors of the BBC have rubber stamped plans to move parts of the organisation to Manchester - where it could build a new 'Media Zone' to accommodate it.
The BBC today unveiled details of the move, which is expected to cost £500 million and happen by 2010. Four potential sites have been earmarked for the relocation of BBC Sport, Radio Five Live and the children's department CBBC.
Two sites in Manchester and two in Salford have been shortlisted, although their exact location is being kept under wraps. The governors' preferred option is a 'Media Zone' which would be home to the BBC, independent producers, facilities suppliers and, potentially, other broadcasters. Joining ITV at its Quay Street site is one possibility. The governors have also retained the option of creating a new stand-alone site.
The current BBC building in Oxford Road has been ruled out because it is too small and rehousing staff during the move would be too expensive. A BBC project team will now narrow the shortlisted sites down to one.
A BBC spokeswoman said: 'The governors have authorised the project team to begin negotiations with potential partners and site providers.'
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