BBC Wales to move to new Foster-designed Cardiff HQ
BBC Cymru Wales has revealed plans to relocate to a new purpose-built £100million media centre in Cardiff city centre.
The broadcaster has signed up to move into a Foster & Partners designed, five-storey building just north of Cardiff Central Station.
The decision means BBC Wales will now leave its 1966 Broadcasting House site - designed by Welsh architect Dale Owen. Earlier this year Twentieth Century Society tried to get the building listed - but the move was rejected by the Welsh Government.
Work on the new building, which has been developed by a partnership between Cardiff property firm Rightacres and Cardiff council, could start next year if subject to planning consents.
Rightacres commissioned Foster & Partners to come up with designs for a ‘dramatic new business district’ which linked the railway station to the Millennium Stadium and across to St Mary Street.
The BBC has agreed a 20-year lease on the new building.
The broadcaster is reducing the overall floorspace which it occupies by 50 per cent compared to the current site in Llanfaff while the construction of the new office is expected to provide around 100 jobs.
Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Wales said: ‘The plans for Capital Square don’t just make excellent financial sense, they are groundbreaking too. They provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get much closer to our audiences, to help transform part of our capital city, and to work with a wide range of partners to strengthen Wales’ reputation as a world-class creative community.
‘The new broadcast centre promises to be an exciting new home in a remarkable location right at the heart of the action. The public rightly demands the best from the BBC - and this development will at last give our programming teams the tools, the technology and the facilities to serve our audiences for decades to come.’
The BBC move comes as Cardiff Council announced a new masterplan to develop the city centre to both the north and south of the main railway station.
BBC Wales has grown in stature in the last decade with many of the BBC’s prime-time shows such as Dr Who now part-filmed in the Welsh capital. The new building is expected to be financed by the sale of the existing Broadcasting House, which has been on the market since 2013.
Around 1,200 BBC staff are expected to move into the new HQ in the spring of 2018.