Salford steps up drive to woo BBC under Wildman

Salford City Council has poached Oldham Council head of comms Susan Wildman as it steps up its efforts to get the BBC to locate major new offices in the district.

The corporation is to relocate hundreds of staff to the Greater Manchester area and is considering two sites, one in central Manchester and one in Salford.

Leading a team of 38, Wildman will play a major role in lobbying the BBC over its choice of location.

She arrives next Monday after just over two years at Oldham to become director of comms and marketing.

Wildman declined to comment on the specifics of her new role, but Salford principal PR officer Ian Andrew said the council was already in talks with the BBC about the proposed Salford site and that Wildman would help steer the campaign on her arrival. 'It is very important for the city that we give this our best shot,' he added.
Wildman's responsibilities also cover media relations, web content, corp comms, tourism marketing and internal comms. She will report to chief executive Barbara Spicer.

Salford is an area currently benefiting from huge investment, including a £60m government programme designed to boost the local housing market. The council also recently created the Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company, which will oversee
redevelopment projects.

Wildman takes responsibility for the council's campaign to change perceptions of the city. The drive was created after research showed the city was closely associated with ITV soap opera Coronation Street and crime (PRWeek, 10 June 2005).

She replaces Simon Malcolm, who left last May to become marketing director at the Rugby Football League. Acting head of PR Sue Hill will return to her role as corporate marketing manager when Wildman
joins.

Oldham Council said it was already on the hunt for a replacement for Wildman.

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