BBC plans to have two-thirds of staff outside London by 2027
BBC Director General Lord Hall says he wants “at least two-thirds” of the Corporation to be based outside of London by 2027.
Currently, half the BBC is based outside of the capital, with departments including Sport, 5 Live and Children’s having re-located to MediaCityUK in Salford in 2011.
Under Hall’s plans - which he will outline in full to staff at a meeting on Wednesday - about 3,000 further staff would move out of London.
“A decade ago, a third of the BBC was based outside London,” Hall told the Financial Times in a pre-cursor to Wednesday's meeting. “Today it is half. By 2027, I hope at least two-thirds of the BBC will be outside the capital.”
He also launched a staunch defence of the BBC, insisting the broadcaster “can do more for Britain than ever” as it faces increasing competition from online streaming services and threats to funding from the Government.
“The BBC is the single biggest investor in original British content,” Hall added. “Every £1 we spend generates £2 for the UK economy,” Lord Hall said. “We operate as an engine powering the whole creative sector.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in December that he was considering scrapping the £154.90 annual TV licence or decriminalising non-payment, which the BBC said would cost it around £200m per year.
The Prime Minister also threatened to “put the screws” on the BBC if it refused to fund free TV licences for the over-75s. Last summer the Corporation said it would cut free television licences to roughly two-thirds of pensioners in a bid to conserve cash.
Lord Hall said that the BBC’s funding model through the licence fee “obliges us to serve everyone” and “secures our responsibility to reflect every part of the UK”. The Corporation’s current charter runs to 2027, although the level of the licence fee is set to be reviewed by 2022.