BBC Wales gets keys to new headquarters

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Patrick Olner

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The new BBC Wales headquarters in Cardiff Central Square now needs to be fitted out for use

BBC Cymru Wales is taking possession of its new headquarters in Cardiff’s Central Square.

Construction has finished, but installing broadcast technology will take around 18 months.

The building is part of the Central Square development of offices and shops, which is on the former site of Cardiff’s bus station on Wood Street.

The first set of staff are likely to move from its existing headquarters in Llandaff by the end of 2019.

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The building is half the size of BBC Wales’ current headquarters in Llandaff

When the building is completed, it will also house S4C transmission staff, and will offer regular access to some workers from the independent production sector.

It will be the first building of its kind in the UK to use internet protocol (IP) technology, which will allow devices around the building to recognise and “talk” to each other.

It will bring the technology into different aspects of broadcasting – from controlling cameras, TV editing and output.

BBC director general Tony Hall said the building marked a milestone for Wales’ creative sector.

“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,” he said.

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Rightacres Property

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An artist’s impression of what the development will look like when finished

BBC Cymru Wales director Rhodri Talfan Davies said: “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.”

The BBC said it could not yet confirm the costs of the move to Central Square.

A new report by BOP Consulting has reasserted that the new broadcasting centre will contribute £1.1 billion to the economy of the Cardiff city region over the next decade – a finding it previously reached in 2015.

It said this was the equivalent of 1,900 full time jobs and included those working on the new BBC building, as well as people employed by new businesses which are being drawn to the city in light of its construction.

It also predicted an increase in spending by visitors to Cardiff, while the housing planned for construction on BBC Wales’ existing headquarters in Llandaff also contributes to the economic impact assessment.

Central Square’s vital statistics

  • The internal size of Central Square over several floors is 155,582 sq ft (14,454 sq m) – about 1.5 times the area of the Principality Stadium’s pitch.
  • It is roughly half the size of BBC Wales’ Llandaff sites
  • The excavated material from the site would fill 19 Olympic-sized swimming pools
  • There is more glass in the building then the glasshouse roof at the National Botanic Garden for Wales in Carmarthenshire
  • Rainwater harvesting tanks at Central Square collect enough rainwater for 27,000 toilet flushes

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