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Saturday, 16 May 2015

BBC Spends £700k Fixing Up Property on Demolition List

BBC bosses have spent more than £700k smartening up a property scheduled for demolition within 3 years.

BBC Broadcasting House in Cardiff, the headquarters of BBC Wales, is due for replacement in late 2018.

The fifty-year-old concrete monstrosity, located in the Llandaff district of the city, is due to be replaced by 120,000 square feet of prime real estate immediately opposite Cardiff Central railway station.

The collosal spending plans came to light when the BBC responded to a Freedom of Information request. According to an article in today's Daily Express the BBC spent just over £403k on essential repairs to the tired-looking building, along with almost £300k on accommodation improvements.

The total sum, which is equivalent to 4,800 TV licence fees, includes the costs of relocating BBC Wales' online and learning services to the soon to be defunct building.

A Welsh Assembly insider is quoted as saying: "BBC Wales announced in August 2013 that they would be relocating to a new HQ and then subsequently spent nearly £700,000 sprucing up their current building in the full knowledge that it will be knocked down in just a few years' time.

"I suspect that licence fee payers across Wales will rightly be questioning why the BBC Wales board allowed a significant amount of money to be spent on a building marked out as ready for the bulldozer."

The BBC, perhaps unsurprisingly, disagreed with those comments. A BBC spokesman said: "Fifty-year-old buildings require regular maintenance to keep them safe and secure - and the 300,000 square feet site at Llandaff is no exception.

"We always make every effort to ensure essential works deliver the best possible value for money.

"To put the numbers in context, maintenance costs in 2014 at our Llandaff site totalled approximately 0.5% of our overall expenditure in Wales, and this will fall further as we approach the planned move to Central Square."

The BBC is perhaps wise to spend the money while it still can, as considerable belt-tightening lies just around the corner.

Our thanks to TV Licensing Blog reader Chris for bringing this story to our attention.

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