BBC to leave West London

The BBC has announced it plans to move its public services away from West london as part of a cost-cutting drive.

The announcement was made as part of “Delivering Quality First” programme, which aims to deliver a “smaller” BBC with around 2,000 less employees nationally.

The iconic BBC TV Centre building was already up for sale, with a reported 80 or so expressions of interest in buying the building. Now a report from the BBC Management to the Board of trustees recommends a phased exit for most staff from the White City Media Village.

Around 1,000 jobs will transfer to Salford, with only BBC Worldwide remaining in the Media Village. There could be a significant impact on the BBC’s supply chain – there are 70,000 creative industries jobs in West London, with 27,000 in LB Hammersmith & Fulham. Many of these are at companies supplying services to the BBC. The economic impact of this decision could be significant.

The “phased but full exit” for the BBC’s public services will take ten years to complete. The Media Village may be sold, with reports in the Guardian suggesting football club QPR may be interested. With Chelsea also rumoured to be on the move, the idea of the clubs ground-sharing, long speculated on, is bound to resurface.

The decision on the sale of the TV Centre is due later in the year, with a BBC Spokesperson confirming today that their key objective is to maximise value of the site through either a conventional freehold property sale or through a joint venture partnership which could provide better public value and create a lasting legacy for Television Centre.

The moves would bring to an end the 50-year association of the BBC with West London, begun when they took over the Lisson Grove Studios. Broadcasting House in central London will become the primary BBC site in London, home to BBC News, and many of the other operations presently in TCV Centre. The report suggests BBC numbers in Salford would expand significantly, with BBC3 transferring there for example, while the Pacific Quay and Cardiff locations also likely see some marginal increases in staff.

Access the full report – Delivering Quality First

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