BBC announces cuts to running costs at its New Broadcasting House headquarters

The BBC has announced cuts to running costs at its headquarters at New Broadcasting House.

A refinancing deal will save the corporation £10 million a year immediately – rising gradually to an estimated £34 million by 2033, it said.

It comes after a damning report in 2015 found costs at Broadcasting House were almost three-times as high as other comparable buildings in the UK.

The National Audit Office said at the time that the building – which became fully operational in 2013 – cost £89 million a year to run, accounting for a third of the annual £273 million running costs of the BBC’s entire UK estate.

The BBC said a “significant proportion” of running costs stemmed from a leaseback arrangement secured to redevelop the property in central London.

The new deal will see rental payments fixed for the remainder of the lease period, leading to a 15 per cent reduction in occupancy costs.

It will also secure the long-term ownership and occupation of the building beyond the term of its current lease which ends in 2033 – paving the way to outright ownership in 2045.

The building is home to The One Show, three BBC News 24-hour channels, BBC World Service and the corporation’s national radio stations.

Anne Bulford, deputy director general of the BBC, said: “Cutting property costs is a key part of our strategy to provide maximum value for money for the licence fee and with this deal we’ll have cut our buildings bill by some £90 million a year since 2011.

“This deal provides real value for money – securing the long-term future of our London base and demonstrating our commitment to meeting the financial challenges we have to address during this Charter.”

The savings were announced in a speech to the Media & Telecoms 2017 & Beyond Conference in central London.

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