Sports presenter Dan Walker and Blue Peter producer Ewan Vinnicombe are among 216 mid-tier BBC staff moving to Salford MediaCity in 2011.

A total of 42% of staff in BBC grades 8 to 11 from across Children’s, Learning, Sport, 5 Live and parts of Future, Media and Technology have agreed to relocate with the departments.

The figure beats initial internal estimates of around 30%.

They will join the 15 senior managers who agreed in April to move – almost half of the 32 senior roles affected.

Vinnicombe said of the plans: “For me, the chance to be part of a new beginning for the BBC was the deciding factor in saying yes. I want Children’s to be at the heart of BBC North and you never normally get a chance like this.

“It is certainly a big decision for both myself and my partner, but having an attachment in Entertainment at BBC Manchester a few years ago and knowing how much I enjoyed living in the area then, I decided I couldn’t say no to this opportunity.”

Walker, who fronts Inside F1 and Five Live Sport, has also previously lived and worked in Manchester.

A further 114 BBC Sport staff have yet to confirm their decision due to an internal structural review.

They now have until 14 July to decide and the BBC is likely to announce numbers the following week.

Peter Salmon, director of BBC North, added: “I am now looking ahead to engaging with the final wave of people who will decide in the autumn and it is also really exciting that additionally more than 500 people currently working in areas that are not due to move, have also expressed a strong interest in BBC North and finding out more about the opportunities that will emerge.”

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