BBC Cymru Wales announces plan to move to Cardiff city centre
The BBC has unveiled plans to move its main headquarters in Wales to a new, purpose-built broadcast centre in Cardiff city centre by 2018.
BBC Cymru Wales, currently based in Llandaff in north west Cardiff, says it plans to relocate to a new 150,000sq ft. development in Capital Square - on the site of the current bus station at the northern entrance of Cardiff Central rail station.
The decision follows a detailed three-year study prompted by the ageing facilities at the current base in Llandaff and the pressing need to modernise the outdated and unreliable technology. Options to upgrade the current site were ruled out as they were costlier, more disruptive and would have taken longer to deliver.
The new centre will be roughly half the size of the current premises and less expensive to run.
The new centre is part of a development by Cardiff-based Rightacres Property and will house over 1,000 staff – including BBC Wales, BBC Finance and BBC Pensions staff all currently based at Llandaff. The Welsh language broadcaster, S4C, has already announced it plans, in principle, to share some broadcasting services with the BBC at the new centre.
Looks fairly mid-rise and not particularly interesting, though I'm sure these are just initial renders and the design is sure to change. Would like to see something much taller here, at least 10 storeys...
One more render. I should imagine that these were Rightacres pitches to the BBC. What gets built could be pretty different. It's a bit bland - but not unpleasant.
It's not clear from the renders but it appears that the central atrium could be a public space - a feature of recent BBC new-builds. I certainly hope that's the case.
This will be the view fronting the station:
with I think this being the frontage onto Wood Street:
That said, agree these are early stage renders and changes will come.
This must all be dependent on a new site being found for the bus station surely? But didn't Goodway state that a new station would be years away? I know he's been binned but what exactly has changed?
It seems to me that there will be huge resistance from any number of parties to the bus station being demolished to make way for the BBC without an alternative being built or at the very least underway. I can't imagine that the process of choosing a site, getting a design, finding the funds and going through the inevitable public consultation will be particularly brief either which makes it highly unlikely that work will begin next year as suggested.
I don't think we have heard the last of this and it's significant that two other sites are on 'standby'.
As for the design, it's as good as can be expected. It looks typical BBC and it automatically reminded me of their Glasgow HQ. I think Central Square will be made up of pleasant but bland buildings and it's aesthetic success will rest on the configuration of the layout and the public realm bringing it all together so that the sum is greater than the parts. In truth that is probably preferable than a collection of eye popping buildings with no relationship to each other.
2018 - 4 fecking years to build a six storey building. that's scandalous and shows just how bloody bureaucratic the UK is and how our incredibly inept and anachronistic planning system is totally unfit for purpose. I despair.
As Karl says, the plan is to build a new bus station before work starts on the BBC building, so that will clearly add to the delay.
I think the new bus station will go where planned sometime ago on the Marland House and car park site. At one stage the hold up was getting ownership of the car park, but that seems closer to resolution now. I still hope for a bus station with access from Wood Street and by Sleeperz.
Although I have no evidence, I speculate there will also be a new car park on Park Street.
The bus station is either going to be underground or designed for the borrowers by the looks of that masterplan render. No room anywhere there for a bus station.
You jest. But I think there were plans to build the bus station with office buildings on top at one stage - at least that was being considered as an option. The constraint then is that you need pretty expensive and energy-hungry air conditioning systems to make sure that the exhaust fumes are properly extracted.
Alternatively, it could go on the south side of the railway station. This wouldn't be a problem provided a through-route for non ticket holders could be delivered. Otherwise the ticket barriers look like being.. well, a barrier to such a plan.
Cant say i'm really impressed by the master-plan or the new BBC renders. I think if it comes to fruition then the purchase of most of the buildings around there seems rather unnecessary as the street pattern seems very similar to what it is now. I dont like how the BBC offices take up such a central site and are very unsymmetrical, also if these are the only confirmed buildings we are just going to end up with a building sitting in the middle of an empty square and nothing else around it for some time other than the glass needle site. the master plan also makes provision for pedestrians to walk quickly to the bridge, yet i would think most people head in the direction of St Marys street, surely this would be the better route to form a diagonal path to?
Modern newsrooms are large open plan affairs where all teams can sit together to aid collaboration. So online, tv and radio. Politics, sport and business, all in one place.
Offices. Most of this will be open plan again to help manage teams etc.
So it was always going to be mid-rise.
I also quite like design. Its not symmetrical. But if it were it would just be a square bland box. At least now it will have something interesting about it.
The masterplan obviously needs further work. The diagonal line is about walking towards the Mil Stad and views in that direction. Agree routes to St Mary's / St David's also need to be prioritised. But that shouldn't be a problem as there'll be two - one largely following the existing one part Marland House. And the other down past Sleepers. I guess views to those sides will be less open but there isn't much of architectural merit to look at anyway.
Quite interesting that they're reducing their building's square footage by 50%
Not forgetting a large part of BBC Finance which used to occupy Ty Oldfield was out sourced to India a few years ago.
As the Council seem to have bought up the majority of thd square, I am fairly confident that this will spur them
On to get things moving.
As for the height, as always, there's no point in height for the sake if it and were probably lucky to get this many floors. I mean look at the new ITV accommodation. Anyway, it will provide a step up between thd station without competing with the stadium or BT house.
So its not just me who think they should have moved down the bay!
PS how about the Council relocate the bus station to the land vacant next to Roath Lock, they could arrange free transport to/from Central Square!!
I can sort of see why the BBC might not want an L-shaped building which was what was on offer in Assembly Square.
What still strikes me as odd is that Igloo/Porth Teigr didn't make the short-list. A phase two at Roath Lock was the obvious way to go - maybe Igloo got too greedy.
Rhodri Morgan is a pleasant and affable chap, but on the economy a total buffoon who ruined the early years of devolution.
As a general rule, if he's talking about a serious matter, it's better to dismiss it.
The BBC will be renting the building from Rightacres (or whoever they sell it on to), so the building itself, which I think will cost £50 million, will be funded by the developers getting a commercial loan and/or selling the asset to a big pension fund, insurer etc.
The fitting out costs could also be close to £50 million. The BBC probably won't get anything like that from their land. I'd guess they may get £25 million at a price of around £1.5 million per acre... although £2 million an acre would raise that to about £32 million.
I guess they are hoping that the move will save money in the long term by avoiding the need to upgrade their existing facilities. It should also be cheaper to run and to staff. And if they are privatised, leasing will be more tax efficient than owning their building outright (although I guess they could have mortgaged it to leverage up too).
Really? Please explain...
And even if so, the enterprise zone status is pretty short term... less than 20 years, no?
Phil Bale newly elected leader of Cardiff council now boasts of exciting plans for the regeneration of Central Square following the announcement that BBC Cymru Wales will be relocating their headquarters to the site of our bus station by June 2015. No ifs or buts, despite no planning application, still less planning approval.
He says they are now seeking public views ... wait for it... on the location of the new bus interchange next to Cardiff Central train station, which will be located either to the north or south of the station. The public consultation survey was launched online on Friday 8th August at: http://www.surveys.cardiff.gov.uk/busstation2014/ It simply asks: would you prefer the new facilities to be north (city side) or south (bay side) of Central Station?
This lousy consultation doesn't ask about the actual options that are listed in the AECOM Scoping report (Cabinet meeting 17 July, Item 3: www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/Your-Council/Councillors-and-meetings/CouncilMeetings. We are not asked if we want to sell off the bus station site, nor if we'd give priority to the BBC and manage in an unspecified way without a bus station for over 18 months whatever the damage to public transport policies. There is no longer any mention of the promised INTEGRATED TRANSPORT HUB nor any mention of space required for a Metro station and no mention of coach stands.
• Like for like replacement of Bus Station somewhere north of the Station;
• 22 stands north of the station;
• Reduced provision north of the station (18-22 stands) with some provision to the south
• All provision on the south side;
• Satellite bus-bays around the city centre on a) a temporary basis; and, b) a permanent basis.
The present 34 bus stands on the site would be much reduced, perhaps even to 18, ignoring the public transport objectives and 50:50 modal split of the LDP
The above scenarios for the potential bus station relocation options will be assessed as part of the Transport and Traffic Chapter of the ES says the Central Square, Cardiff : EIA Scoping Report from AECOM dated August 2014 (so no-one could see it in advance of the July Cabinet decision)
It says this Scoping Report is on behalf of Rightacres Limited, who have agreed that EIA will be undertaken, to allow the necessary survey and technical assessment work to be undertaken in advance of the submission of a planning application in October 2014. This surely makes it the fastest EIA ever undertaken, a travesty of the EIA Directive and Regulations - however much work AECOM have done in advance - and no site surveys are cited - the Regulations require genuine public consultation and revision of the ES to complete it.
When Phil Bale took over as leader, he promised a new bus station on Central Square, real public consultation and priority to making Cardiff a "liveable city". What a betrayal!
At least the document gives no grounds for moving the bus station to the south of Central Station - an option previously judged to depend on a costly new river bridge and dropped in the face of public votes.
No mention of closing accesses for the BBC on match-day closures. Another exception to get round that sticky problem, despite the "safety" excuse??
No comments on this topic for a year.
The BBC's preferred site is the bus station site in Central Square. Cardiff leaders have promised to deliver this, despite no planning consent nor even a planning application. They have accepted it needs EIA, but being cosy with AECOM expect them to do a rushed job (fastest ever) to submit in October.
See the Central Square thread for up-to-date comments and links.
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