Visit to the BBC at Salford Quays with alumnus Alan Bainbridge
14 February 2017
On Thursday 2 February twenty postgraduate students from Nottingham Trent University Business School visited the BBC offices at Salford Quays. The visit was kindly hosted by NTU alumnus Alan Bainbridge (HND Quantity Surveying 1983), who is Portfolio Director for the BBC estate outside London, including Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Alan led the delivery of transformational workplaces and media spaces in Salford following the BBC’s decision to relocate 11,000 staff from their previous London headquarters to the area in 2004. This represented quite a challenge, ensuring that business continued as normal during the huge upheaval of staff and equipment.
During the visit, Alan gave an interesting talk to the students about the ‘activity-driven’ design of the workspaces. This was based on an analysis of how a diverse population of people worked and the need for flexible working patterns in a 24 hour building. A key consideration for Alan was the use of new technology, both now and in the future. Alan also talked about how the building took into account the elimination of physical hierarchies, and the BBC’s ambitions for MediaCityUK; greater accessibility, openness, efficiency and value for money. The result is an amazing building design, which has a real sense of functionality whilst still responding fully to the current and future business needs of the BBC. Alan and his team have delivered a building that will “add-value” strategically to the business and also contribute to the creativity and productivity of the workforce.
It was clear from Alan’s talk that his passion and belief in the design, and his ability to effectively communicate it to the BBC, had played a major part in the smooth transition of the relocation of the workforce. The staff and students on the trip were really grateful for the opportunity of such an educational and interesting visit.