VIDEO | Crafting innovation hubs

Using MediaCity as a case study, this roundtable discussion between developers, academics, SMEs, and local authorities explores the role place has in driving innovation.


  • Artur Grzybowski, innovation director at Salford Innovation Forum
  • Derek Hales, lecturer in architecture at the University of Salford
  • Laura Harper, digital, commerce, and creative partner at Lewis Silkin
  • Anthony Hatton, innovation programme director at MediaCity Immersive Technologies Innovation Hub
  • Stephen Kirk, head of asset management for MediaCity
  • Nigel Moore, production director at Fuzzy Duck
  • Audrey Peers, head of business development at MIDAS
  • Adrian Toland, senior principal for innovation policy and strategy at Greater Manchester Combined Authority
  • Matt Wall, technology, architectural, and cyber lead at Salford City Council
  • Chaired by Paul Unger, publisher of Place North

Key talking points

Innovation hubs are meant to be the central point where new technologies emerge and businesses grow from a seed of an idea to a full-blown tree of success. So how do we craft spaces where businesses can come, learn, and grow?

This roundtable discussion, sponsored by MediaCity, looked into what occupiers, government, and landlords were after when it comes to crafting innovation hubs.

One of the key takeaways was the importance of location, having a place that was close to universities and that could pull in a diverse amount of talent. Because these spaces need to also function as recruitment tools, the importance of ESG, amenities, and community spirit cannot be overestimated.

Another aspect of a successful innovation hub was flexibility, with options for a business to scale up without having to move too far away.

MediaCity has become a base for immersive technology, including augmented reality that can be used in television media and architecture. The roundtable briefly discussed why this technology was so important – and how Greater Manchester is positioning itself as the world’s leader in this field.

You can hear highlights from the roundtable in the video at the top of this article, as well as on the Place North West YouTube channel. Learn more about MediaCity at

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