BBC South West announces major investment in Plymouth Seymour Road base

The plans for Seymour Road put the South West at the cutting edge of news-gathering and broadcasting technology, and will enable us to continue to bring our audiences quality local and regional journalism, innovative programming and output on all platforms that they expect.”Leo Devine, Head of Regional and Local Programmes, South-West
Date: 22.03.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.00
Category: English Regions
The BBC today announced a major refurbishment of its property and technology at Seymour Road, Plymouth, as part of its continued commitment to audiences in the South-West.

Leo Devine, Head of Regional and Local Programmes, South-West, says: “The plans for Seymour Road put the South West at the cutting edge of news-gathering and broadcasting technology, and will enable us to continue to bring our audiences quality local and regional journalism, innovative programming and output on all platforms that they expect.”

In 2007, the BBC agreed to relocate to a new building at East Quays, Sutton Harbour. However, work stopped on the site in the summer of 2008. The original plan would have seen the BBC broadcasting from the new building in 2010 and the sale of the Seymour Road site for residential redevelopment.

Leo Devine adds: “It is unfortunate that the economic downturn has delayed the proposed development at Sutton Harbour. The BBC was fully committed to the East Quay proposal but we understand the difficult economic conditions and have reached an amicable agreement with Sutton Harbour. Refurbishing our freehold site at Seymour Road is now the most appropriate way to carry out the necessary upgrades to our broadcast technology to ensure we continue to deliver a quality service to our audiences in the South West. The refurbishment will 'future-proof' the broadcast capability as well as providing modern facilities for staff and visitors and delivering best value to licence-fee payers.”

The BBC has appointed local architects AWW and project managers Davis Langdon to develop its refurbishment proposals. Planning permission has recently been granted by Plymouth City Council for a new reception and apparatus room extension as well as other improvements to the site.

Notes to editors

  • The BBC employs 150 people in Plymouth. BBC Radio Devon and regional television news programme Spotlight are broadcast from its Seymour Road base, as well as BBC News online for the region, the weekly current affairs programme Inside Out: South West and one-off documentaries for BBC network television and radio.
  • Work is expected to start on site within 10 months, following final design and procurement of a contractor to carry out the work.