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31/10/2000

BBC NEWS PLANS MOVE TO MODERN CENTRE

THE BBC are to move their renowned London HQ, Broadcasting House, into a ‘modern centre for global broadcasting’ by the end of the decade.
BBC Radio, BBC World Service, BBC News and BBC Online News Service will be integrated into one building in a new complex in Portland Place. This scheme is part of an overall property strategy across all of the BBC’s locations in the UK.
BBC Director-General Greg Dyke said: “This will be a new era for Broadcasting House. It has a long history in radio programme making; now it will also be the hub for all the BBC’s news and information services for the UK and the world.”
Mark Byford, Director of World service, said: “The move to Broadcasting House represents a really exciting opportunity for World Service and its staff. We will be in a modern, fully digitised broadcast centre. Bush House is an iconic part of World’s Service’s history but I am confident the new centre will be the right move for our long-term progress.
The outline proposal consolidates Broadcasting House as the BBC’s headquarters and home of BBC Radio. The accommodation requirements of radio programme makers will be met first, including new studios and facilities.
BBC Governors have approved the plans and agreed to narrow the shortlist of potential property partners to two consortia, Insight and the Foresite Consortium. The BBC said that the property partners would ensure the development is achieved at no extra cost to licence fee payers.
The BBC said they could not clarify the total cost or size of the redevelopment at this stage. The proposal includes an envisaged publicly accessible space of around 50,000 sq.ft, including a piazza with a better audience handling area for the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House, and a visible showcase for the BBC at work.
Stage 6 at Television centre, which currently houses the News Centre, was designed as a flexible programming making space. It will be used by network television programme makers when BBC News leaves.
Projects currently being reviewed in the BBC’s property strategy, include new homes for BBC local radio stations in Leicester, Sheffield and Stoke, a new centre in Marylebone High Street for the new Greater London region, BBC London Live and a new media centre at BBC Radio Kent. The strategy also includes a new multi media centre in Aberdeen and Leeds and a pilot Open centre at BBC Radio Lancashire. They also plan to move BBC Scotland’s Edinburgh operation to the Tun in Holyrood.
The BBC expects that the new complex, which will allow it to consolidate four London sites into three, will be completed in six years.
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