A new purpose built major broadcasting centre and headquarters to house BBC Cymru Wales will kickstart a major regeneration in Cardiff, creating hundreds of construction jobs.
The BBC plans to relocate to the Foster + Partners designed, five storey, 150,000 sq ft broadcast centre in the City’s Capital Square by 2018, with work getting under way immediately on a 72 week construction programme. Construction of the shell of the building is likely to cost some £50 million, with the technology intensive broadcasting related fit out bringing the cost up to over £100 million.
The BBC project is part of a development in Capital Square by Rightacres Property which will lease the building to the BBC for 20 years. BBC Wales says the new broadcast centre will house over 1000 staff and will be designed to meet the UK’s top environmental standard (BREEAM Outstanding).
The project will kick start one of Cardiff’s biggest urban regeneration projects in recent decades, with the City developing a major new masterplan for both the northern and southern sides of Cardiff Central station.
The overall Capital Square development will be office led but with a mixture of uses, including commercial, civic, residential, hotel, leisure and retail space. Rightacres says construction will start soon on the first development on the site, a 135,000 sq ft BREEAM Excellent office building.
BBC Wales’ decision to move to a new site follows a detailed three year study prompted by the ageing facilities at the current base in Llandaff. Other options to upgrade the Llandaff site were ruled out as they were costlier, more disruptive and would have taken longer to deliver.
Cardiff City Council Leader, Phil Bale, said: “This is very exciting news for the city and will fast track our plans for the area. Currently this part of Cardiff city centre doesn’t give the best impression and our aim is create a place that the people of Cardiff are proud of and one that leaves a lasting impression for visitors.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “We welcome this decision that secures a multi million pound investment from the BBC into Wales, which will provide a state of the art headquarters on a par with those in Glasgow, Salford and London.”