BBC Wales handed the keys to its new £120m headquarters

BBC Staff will start moving into the new HQ in the centre of Cardiff late next year

new HQ at Central Square

BBC Wales has signed up to a 20-year lease for the building with its owner Legal & General at an initial cost of around £4m a year with a rent review, linked to the retail price index measure of inflation, every five years.

As is common with property deals of this scale, the public service broadcaster will have an initial rent free period.

On completion of its relocation, its existing headquarters in Llandaff will be turned into a 400 home residential scheme from house builder Taylor Wimpey.

Its new HQ has been delivered by Cardiff-based property development firm Rightacres Property, which is behind the Central Square scheme immediately in front of Cardiff Central train station and which will eventually see one million sq ft of new office, residential and retail space built.

More than eighty production companies will have open access to the new BBC building, while Welsh language broadcaster (Also state funded) S4C will also have a base at the new centre.

And a new economic impact study carried BOP Consulting has found that BBC Wales’ decision to relocate will deliver a £1.1bn economic boost over the next decade.

The director general of the BBC Tony Hall and director of BBC Wales Rhodri Talfan Davies will today join chief executive of Rightacres Paul McCarthy and leader of Cardiff Council, Huw Thomas, for an official hand over ceremony at the HQ.

The building will provide around 750 work desk spaces, but it is not envisaged that all 1,200 staff will ever be in the building at the same.

The internal fitout of the building is being carried out by firms Overbury and Sheppard Robson.

Construction work on the project, by ISG, started in December 2015.

Lord Hall said: “Central Square is a major milestone in the development of Wales’ creative sector. It’s a remarkable centre that will be a creative home for the BBC in Wales for generations to come.

“Alongside the major investment we’re making right now in Welsh programming — from Valleys Cops and Keeping Faith to Radio Cymru 2 — I believe this brilliant new centre will become a real magnet for new creative talent.”

Mr Talfan Davies said: “We are enormously grateful to all our partners. They have gone the extra mile from day one to help realise our vision for this new centre. The media landscape is changing at a speed never seen before – and Central Square is a crucial part of our strategy to modernise and renew BBC Wales, and to ensure we serve all our audiences across Wales.”

Work on the new HQ, carried out by construction firm ISG, started in December 2015.

New HQ facts and figures

  • Its roughly half the size of the current Llandaff sites and less expensive to operate on a like-for-like basis.
  • It will be the first broadcast centre in the world to have alLive IP core meaning that it will have the most advanced technology of any broadcast centre in the UK.
  • The excavated material from the site would fill 19 Olympic size swimming pools.
  • The metal decking on the upper floors is equivalent to two standard size rugby pitches.
  • There is more glass in the building then the glasshouse roof at the National Botanic Garden for Wales.
  • Rainwater harvesting tanks at Central Square collect enough rainwater for 27,000 flushes.