new home rises in the east
in the east of England will enter an exciting new phase when BBC
East completes its move to The Forum in Norwich over the weekend.
BBC will complete the transfer of its regional headquarters when
Look East, the award-winning regional news television programme,
begins broadcasting from The Forum on Monday 29 September.
move to the landmark building in the city centre marks both the
end of an era and the start of a new digital age, so Look East is
relaunching with a brand new look and feel.
Norfolk, Inside Out, The Politics Show, News Online and the website
team have already relocated to the Forum in a staggered move, started
will be first time that the station's services have been together
under one roof.
this summer, the BBC operated from a split site in Norwich divided
between television's base at St Catherine's Close and the radio
studios in Surrey Street.
will be an emotional moment for staff. Television programmes have
been broadcast from the listed Georgian building at St Catherine's
Close for more than 40 years.
Stewart White and Susie Fowler-Watt will sit behind their desk at
the Look East studios for the final time on Friday 26 September.
Bishop, Head of BBC East, says: "We wanted to be at the heart
of the community where our audiences, who pay for the unique services
the BBC provides, can see what we do close-up."
can see the BBC at work through the floor-to-ceiling windows, which
overlook the atrium. Tim adds: "It will be easier for people
to drop in and see us, and as The Forum increasingly becomes a venue
for public events, we can be even more involved in the local community."
more people-friendly approach will also be reflected in Look East's
will be in less formal surroundings, standing for the daytime and
late-night bulletins, while presenters of the 6.30pm programme will
sit at a coffee table.
Betts, Look East's Editor, says: "We're retiring the newsdesk,
which was a barrier between the presenters and the viewers. It's
all part of making us more accessible.
great not to be tucked away in the corner, people can just walk
in off the street to tell us news. We're also going to try to do
more people stories - individuals rather than institutions."
Forum has been equipped with cutting edge digital technology that
has been custom-built for the BBC. Eventually, this system will
be rolled out to BBC centres in Birmingham, Hull, Leeds and Manchester,
but BBC East has it first!
desktop editing systems and a state-of-the-art transmission facilities
will mean quicker news production and better coverage of the region.
technology will make life easier because more effort can be put
into news gathering and less into processing material back at the
more flexible for editing and the modern technology means news bulletins
can contain more local news from around the region," says Dave
Betts. "There will be more shorter pieces, allowing us to get
better regional coverage".
a major TV broadcasting outfit is very complicated and despite his
excitement, Dave Betts admits he's nervous about Monday's first
programme from The Forum: "We're transforming our operation
in one go - it's like a big bang. We've made changes before on Look
East, but they've been gradual. This time, there's not one person
whose job won't change."
he's sad to leave St Catherine's Close, Tim Bishop believes the
station's new home is the way forward for a modern BBC: "I
love the Georgian staircase and entrance to St Catherine's, and
the feel and history of the place. But working right in the centre
of Norwich in such a wonderful, 21st century broadcasting centre
just can't be beaten.
took around 30 years to roll out local radio, and it's taken around
30 months to roll out our Where I Live websites across the country.
know that what people want from our services will continue to change,
but these facilities allow us to deliver more local broadcasting
than ever before.
intend to build on that in the years to come. This is a start, not
details, including facts and figures about the old and new buildings,
are available from www.bbc.co.uk/norfolk/senseofplace.