Six little words sum up my feelings as the W1 Programme closes down after ten years – On-Schedule, On-Budget and On-Air! The mammoth task of reinventing Broadcasting House for 21st century broadcasting has come to a successful end after ten years.

The statistics behind this feat are truly significant. We’ve delivered a £30m underspend on the overall £1.046bn budget and have identified no less than £736m financial benefits from the sale of other properties and by exploiting the advantages of bringing so many BBC staff under one roof. We’ve moved 5,539 people from ten buildings across London into four in the W1 post-code and cut their storage requirements from 19 linear kilometres of ‘stuff’ by 75%. 

The 92,000 square metres of the redeveloped Broadcasting House has been refurbished and fitted out. The new technology, with its 3,000 kms of cabling, is working and the staff know how to work it thanks to the 41,886 training days and 126 different courses that have been provided.

But most crucially, the task of landing the enormous jumbo jets of live BBC programmes has happened smoothly. These have included three 24 hour News Channels, 3 Network Radio Stations, 26 World Service language hubs, the Radio Four and World Service news sequence programmes, Newsnight, Marr and Hardtalk. Our audiences, if they have noticed the move, have noticed for the right reasons – among them the creative renewal of the News Channel, the One, Six and Ten O’Clock TV News Bulletins and BBC World News.

All this happened because of the tremendous dedication and expertise of everyone who worked on the W1 Programme - and because they all pulled together as one team. And as they all move on to other things inside or outside of the BBC I have to say how proud I am of them and how they can be proud every time they turn on the television or radio or emerge from Oxford Circus tube station and see their lasting legacy.

 

Andy Griffee is W1 Project Director.

You can book a tour of the new BBC Broadcasting House building here.

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by Mister Neutron

    on 5 May 2013 06:07

    So no problems then?
    "Old-fashioned tape machines may have to be installed in NBH"
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/may/03/bbc-digital-video-archive

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by Tramp

    on 3 May 2013 07:09

    How is the digital video archive working? Was it a mistake to build a broadcast centre without installing tape machines to play thousands of archive tapes (eg of Thatcher after her death)? And how much is being spent on ferrying tapes by hand to and from the archive in Perivale?

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  • Comment number 2. Posted by Jon Jacob

    on 1 May 2013 10:18

    Hello @RogerWattis,

    Andy Griffee, Project Director, has asked me to post a response to your comment for you:

    "The W1 Project was divided into two phases - the overall budget and schedule were re-based in 2006 having had to deal with a range of issues including additional security precautions, supplier problems and extra scope (ie refurbishment of Western House, home of BBC Radio Two).

    However, any overspend on the original budget for Phase 1 has been swamped by a threefold increase in the financial benefits identified during Phase 2. These are made up of the disposal of additional BBC buildings across London and exploiting the economies of scale and new opportunities in new Broadcasting House. Phase 2 also delivered a huge range of programmes smoothly on-air, on schedule and under budget."

    Best wishes,
    Jon Jacob, Editor

  • Comment number 1. Posted by RogerWattis

    on 30 Apr 2013 19:06

    Are you sure? Because this story on your own News site suggests that it was due to be completed in 2008 and was (in 2010 at least) £100m over budget: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8536356.stm

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