FM and Technology roles to move north

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Around 120 Future Media roles and 100 Technology jobs are to move to Salford next year from west London.

Both divisions already have a large presence at BBC North, and the BBC hopes the site - where a total of 800 FM and Technology roles will be based eventually - will become a 'key digital hub for the UK'.

Technology roles in IT and technology delivery will make the move, together with FM's platform, online technology, user experience and design, homepage and myBBC teams.

Around 60 FM roles will move from W12 to W1 to work alongside BBC Radio teams.

Twenty five Workplace and Safety staff, meanwhile, will be heading to Birmingham next summer. They will join the 100 or so Academy and HR people, who were told in May that their jobs were earmarked for the Mailbox.

Staff were briefed on Tuesday about the latest plans - part of the BBC's commitment to reduce its presence in W12 and fill some of the space in lower cost centres outside of the capital.

'We appreciate this is challenging news for people whose roles are relocating and we are working hard to give them the support they need,' said Anne Bulford, managing director of finance and operations, who pointed out that a 'substantial' number of the roles moving from London are currently vacant or filled by contractors. Of the 102 Technology roles due to move north, for example, only 15 are on continuing staff contracts.

'I want to reassure everyone that we will stick to BBC policies which are designed to give staff being asked to move out of London time to decide what to do,' she added.

'The executive team and everyone in HR is committed to try to make moves out of London work for the individuals concerned wherever possible, and for the BBC.'

Many of those affected currently work in W12's Media Centre - a building the BBC is keen to empty when its largest occupant, BBC Worldwide, moves into its new offices in the revamped Television Centre in 2015.

They include BBC Media Action, who plan to move their 130 staff to alternative, non-BBC accommodation in London.

Make way for TV

Other staff 'in scope' for relocation are currently based in the Broadcast Centre, where space is needed for Television teams. Archives will be among those making way, with 20 roles going to Perivale, 20 to Ruislip and six to Caversham.

There are also plans to develop the Elstree site to accommodate more Television staff.

'The moves announced today enable the BBC to make best use of our space out of London and to make savings on our property portfolio in London,' explained Bulford.

'The costs of these moves will be more than offset by the significant savings we can make through reduction of property costs.'

Peter Salmon, Director England, said: 'The North and Midlands are right at the heart of BBC plans to spend the licence fee closer to all our audiences.

'These 200 plus new roles for Salford cement its position as a key digital hub for the UK. These additional jobs for Birmingham - alongside key training moves already announced for our BBC Mailbox base - mean more than 200 positions are being created there from next year, too. It's another significant development that keeps the Corporation locked into England's most creative regions.'

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