Cushman & Wakefield has been appointed to advise Peel Holdings on its £400m Media City development in Salford Quays, near Manchester city centre.

The global property services firm will handle the leasing of the commercial element, which will total around 5m sq ft, at the 36-acre scheme.

It is also thought that a second adviser will be appointed within the coming months and regional agencies WHR or Edwards & Co are rumoured to be in the running for the instruction.

The appointment is a coup for Cushman which is still relatively new to the city and is looking to secure high profile instructions. It advises Blackrock, the property arm of Merrill Lynch, on its 50,000 sq ft Bauhaus office scheme in Manchester’s Quay Street. It also advises Town Centre Securities, with Lambert Smith Hampton, on its 350,000 sq ft Piccadilly Basin scheme in the city.

The BBC has already committed itself to Media City and will relocate key departments and occupy one-tenth of the scheme when it opens in 2010.

Phase 1 of the development comprises 500,035 sq ft office buildings, 224,400 sq ft of broadcast studio space, 40,000 sq ft of post production facilities, a 206 bed 3 star hotel and 371 apartments. It will complete in 2011.