By Maximilian Clarke

Matt Brittin, Google UK and Ireland’s Managing Director, has praised the facilities at the UK’s latest media hub, MediaCityUK, during a speech delivered in the 200 acre complex.

MediaCityUK represents a vision to create a media hub of global repute in which small production companies could benefit from technologies out of their price reach; as well as a desire by the BBC to decentralise production from London. The University of Salford has recently opened a campus on the site, where arts and technology students can learn alongside experts from the BBC, ITV and the Red Production Company.

Claiming that he “would love to be a student here if time travel was possible”, Mr Brittin hailed the University’s innovative commitment to combining creative, scientific and technical disciplines at its MediaCityUK site as vital in giving students the knowledge and experience to thrive in the rapidly-changing global media environment, and to create a crucial skills base for leading internet and media companies such as Google on which to draw.

“It’s amazing to see the vision you have here and the way you’ve put money behind the vision,” he said. “Culturally mixing students and lecturers from the arts and science faculties is the right way to go. The traditional education system is 150 years out of date and we need to bring the ‘geek’ and the ‘luvvie’ together.”

Mr Brittin also emphasised the importance of openness in the digital world, suggesting that the University of Salford should make its content freely available to allow open use by people across the world, further positioning the University as a leader in digital and internet media learning. He highlighted his belief that creativity and innovation comes best from small teams of people and that the University should focus on long term technological trends, looking at least ten years into the future to ensure its MediaCityUK campus remained at the forefront of integrated digital media teaching.

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