Mediacity upgrades to high tech unified access and security

Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, UK

MediacityUK, an international hub for technology, innovation and creativity located at Salford Quays and home to companies such as the BBC, ITV, Ericsson, dock10 and Kellogg’s, has recently undergone a complete overhaul of its security and access system.

Head of Security Tony Chebrika and consultant Richard Sumner of RS Security Consultants spoke about how the access control solution is used to manage this diverse site.

"We’re using Salto readers to control road blockers, gates and barriers, with wall readers to control main entry doors and mostly XS4 handle sets to control internal doors.

Other onsite users such as SIS (Sports Information Services) have their own individual Salto solution but also have access to MediacityUK doors i.e. they carry access permissions on one card for two systems. This is the same for ITV who also run their own system.

All doors, whatever their location, are mainly accessed via contactless cards but we’re also using Salto’s Justin Mobile with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). This enables a smart phone to be used as the access credential for the electronic lock on the door. The mobile key is sent ‘Over the Air’ (OTA) to a Justin Mobile app installed on a registered and verified smart phone. The user receives a message that they have a new key and for which doors they have access rights. They can then present their smart phone to the lock to gain access via the Justin Mobile app, ” commented Tony Chebrika.

Richard Sumner talked about recently designing the new security system and what it involved. "The existing solution was all proprietary making it difficult to operate, what it needed was a unified security system and a unified control room. So having tendered for the work I began working with Tony and his team. Based on an operational requirement and an evaluation of the product sets in the market place, Tony and I selected product sets that would not only meet our requirements today but considered a road map that would enable the systems to grow as developments came on board.

We selected Salto as the access control solution plus IP video management software firm Meyertech, Wavestore, Axis cameras, 2n Intercoms and Siklu Wirelss links. It was my task to procure and manage the new security upgrade which would include new cabling, software and IP cameras site wide tied into a new state-of-the-art control room."

He continued. "The goal of the upgrade was to implement event driven alarms and recordings. This would operate through a single user interface, which would enable control of all existing standalone systems across multiple sites so the new control room could see at a glance how and when people moved around all the different buildings.

Salto was integrated with Meyertech and the wireless handle equipped doors - which operators can remotely lock and unlock - as part of the project as this was a first for both parties and the end results are fantastic with a solution that meets the end users requirements on driving alarms and isolation of doors through a single front end GUI.

This means when a door is accessed, the camera is activated to provide a visual recording which can be used alongside audit trail data from the door itself. Another useful feature is that when a door alarm goes off, for instance in the case of a door being left open or forced, the camera system can display footage from 5 seconds before and 5 seconds after the event – making it possible to identify the culprit and then begin tracking them through the rest of the system.”

Tony confirmed that there are still further new developments to come and that the people using the system can already see the difference. "Mediacity UK is one of the fastest growing communities in the UK, and we are committed to ensuring it remains a safe and secure destination where everyone is welcome. Mediacity UK is a continually developing site and as new buildings and facilities are added further electronic locks and other security measures will be installed to control access to them. Our community of workers and residents have been made aware of the new security improvements outlined above and they have been suitably impressed by the upgraded systems now in place."

Richard summarised the accomplishments of the project. “Access control has been a major consideration from the very first brief on this project due to the size of the development and its future expansion potential. A smart ‘keyless’ environment was always a prerequisite to control access and it gives Tony full control over his security requirements. To date the Salto solution has worked well and provides effective, secure, simple to manage access control in multiple buildings across the site.”


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