THE BBC's biggest ever move nudged a step further this week with Salford named lead bidder for the broadcaster's new home in the north-west.
The corporation will be part of MediaCity: UK, the proposed venue for media and creative industries at Salford Quays, on Manchester's waterfront.
BBC director-general Mark Thompson announced the move when he outlined plans to transform the organisation in December 2004.
The £400 million relocation will include construction of new buildings to accommodate up to 1,500 jobs that will be moved from London to the BBC's new base in the northwest - taking the children's, sport, Radio Five Live and new media digital departments by 2010. More than 800 jobs will move from the BBC's existing site in Manchester.
The 81 ha Salford site, near The Lowry arts centre and Imperial War Museum North, is lead bidder over a rival complex, the 8 ha Manchester Media Zone site.
Size will not affect the final decision as the BBC will take up the same space on either site. The final decision will be based on the affordability of the project and value for money for the licence fee payer.