BBC gets keys to its £120m HQ in cen­tre of Cardiff

Western Mail - - BUSINESS - SION BARRY Busi­ness edi­tor sion.barry@waleson­line.co.uk

BBC Cymru Wales will to­day be handed the keys to its new £120m head­quar­ters in the cen­tre of Cardiff.

The move al­lows work to be­gin on a multi-mil­lion pound fitout, in­clud­ing the in­stalling of the lat­est in in­ter­net pro­to­col broad­cast­ing tech­nol­ogy, of the 155,000 sq ft Nor­man Fos­ter + Part­ners' de­signed build­ing at the Cen­tral Square scheme in the cen­tre of Cardiff.

The first of more than 1,000 BBC Cymru Wales staff will start a phased re­lo­ca­tion to the new HQ in the au­tumn of next year from the pub­lic ser­vice broad­caster's cur­rent home in the Llandaff area of the cap­i­tal.

BBC Wales has signed up to a 20-year lease for the build­ing with its owner Le­gal & Gen­eral at an ini­tial cost of around £4m a year with a rent re­view, linked to the re­tail price in­dex mea­sure of in­fla­tion, ev­ery five years.

As is com­mon with prop­erty deals of this scale, the pub­lic ser­vice broad­caster will have an ini­tial rent free pe­riod.

On com­ple­tion of its re­lo­ca­tion, its ex­ist­ing head­quar­ters in Llandaff will be turned into a 400-home res­i­den­tial scheme from house­builder Tay­lor Wim­pey.

BBC's new HQ has been de­liv­ered by Cardiff-based prop­erty de­vel­op­ment firm Righ­tacres Prop­erty, which is be­hind the Cen­tral Square scheme im­me­di­ately in front of Cardiff Cen­tral train sta­tion and which will even­tu­ally see one mil­lion sq ft of new of­fice, res­i­den­tial and re­tail space built.

More than eighty pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies will have open ac­cess to the new BBC build­ing, while Welsh lan­guage broad­caster S4C will also have a base at the new cen­tre.

And a new eco­nomic im­pact study car­ried BOP Con­sult­ing has found that BBC Wales' de­ci­sion to re­lo­cate will de­liver a £1.1bn eco­nomic boost over the next decade.

The di­rec­tor gen­eral of the BBC Tony Hall and di­rec­tor of BBC Wales Rho­dri Tal­fan Davies will to­day join chief ex­ec­u­tive of Righ­tacres Paul Mc­Carthy and leader of Cardiff Coun­cil, Huw Thomas, for an of­fi­cial hand over cer­e­mony at the HQ.

The build­ing will pro­vide around 750 work desk spa­ces, but it is not en­vis­aged that all 1,200 staff will ever be in the build­ing at the same.

The fitout of the build­ing is be­ing car­ried out by firms Over­bury and Shep­pard Rob­son.

Lord Hall said: “Cen­tral Square is a ma­jor mile­stone in the de­vel­op­ment of Wales' cre­ative sec­tor. It's a re­mark­able cen­tre that will be a cre­ative home for the BBC in Wales for gen­er­a­tions to come. Along­side the ma­jor in­vest­ment we're mak­ing right now in Welsh pro­gram­ming — from Val­leys Cops and Keep­ing Faith to Ra­dio Cymru 2 – I be­lieve this bril­liant new cen­tre will be­come a real mag­net for new cre­ative tal­ent.”

Mr Tal­fan Davies said: “We are enor­mously grate­ful to all our part­ners. They have gone the ex­tra mile from day one to help re­alise our vi­sion for this new cen­tre. The me­dia land­scape is chang­ing at a speed never seen be­fore – and Cen­tral Square is a cru­cial part of our strat­egy to mod­ernise and re­new BBC Wales, and to en­sure we serve all our au­di­ences across Wales.”

Mr Mc­Carthy said: “The com­ple­tion of the BBC cen­tre is tes­ta­ment to the suc­cess­ful part­ner­ship be­tween our­selves as de­vel­oper, the BBC, Cardiff Coun­cil and Le­gal & Gen­eral.

“It marks an im­por­tant mile­stone in the de­vel­op­ment of Cen­tral Square and has been a team ef­fort from start to fin­ish.”

Mr Thomas said: “The de­ci­sion by BBC Wales to re­lo­cate to this stun­ning new de­vel­op­ment is both brave and bold – ben­e­fit­ing the cor­po­ra­tion with a new home in Wales that fea­tures some se­ri­ously im­pres­sive new fa­cil­i­ties whilst also con­tribut­ing over £1bn to the Welsh econ­omy over the next decade and I am proud of the role that the coun­cil has played in bring­ing the cor­po­ra­tion into the heart of the city.”

Work on the new HQ, car­ried out by con­struc­tion firm ISG, started in De­cem­ber 2015.

Patrick Ol­ner

> The fit out on the BBC Cymru Wales head­quar­ters at Cen­tral Square, Cardiff, can now be­gin

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.