BBC gets keys to its £120m HQ in centre of Cardiff
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.
> The fit out on the BBC Cymru Wales headquarters at Central Square, Cardiff, can now begin