BBC Wales looks at relocation options

Roath Lock Roath Lock: site is just one possibility for new base

A nine month feasibility study could be the first move towards a new fit-for-purpose home for BBC Wales.

The review - approved by the BBC Finance Committee and announced by BBC Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies - will look at three options.

Two would involve a move from the out-dated Llandaff HQ in Cardiff to either a purpose built base or one in existing premises. The third would be a refurbishment of the building that's been home to the BBC operation for the last 45 years.

A move to a base near to the newly developed drama village at Roath Lock, Cardiff Bay is likely to be investigated. Land is available on the site but any such move would have to pass a value for money test.

Another possibility is co-location with S4C. Ways of saving money by reducing duplication of back office functions, including sharing premises, has long been discussed with the Welsh broadcaster.

Frustration with technology

Outlining the review in an email to staff, Talfan Davies acknowledged the 'frustration' for colleagues of growing technology problems.

'Despite the efforts of our Technology team, the limited availability of capital funding means we're often running fast just to stand still. The challenges are compounded by the limitations of the very old broadcasting centre at Llandaff,' he said.

A small amount of money would be released to address the most urgent technology issues: 'But we also know that a more comprehensive technology and property solution is required in the mid-term if we're to ensure we can maintain our creative momentum - and that you have the tools and the environment to do your best work,' the director explained.

The three options to be assessed would each see a 'comprehensive refresh of technology infrastructure'. While a new property solution would affect Cardiff only, any technology upgrade would benefit the whole of BBC Wales, he said.

The study will be headed by Alun Jones, who led the Roath Lock project and its conclusions are expected next year.


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