Conflict is at the heart of good television.
The BBC doesn’t disappoint on that front.
Today the Daily Mail dramatically criticises the Corporation for spending ‘nearly £50k of taxpayer’s money’ on hiring out meeting space in nearby buildings. But as with all good drama, it is often events behind the scenes that tell the most sensational story.
The BBC is smack in the middle of its largest ever property rationalization programme; a massive money-saving project that is reducing the number of buildings it occupies from 200 to 154.
A key element of this scheme was selling Television Centre in west London, for £200m. The BBC said the sale reduced running cost by £30million a year and cut the size of the BBC’s property portfolio.
Cue soundtrack: Kerching! Money trundling back in through the doors of the BBC.
So, while the BBC may be hiring more external meeting rooms, it is saving millions behind the scenes on its property portfolio. Not only is that good news for taxpayers but for drama lovers too. At MeetingRooms.com, we agree with Anne Bulford, BBC managing director of finance and operations, who is recently quoted as saying:
“The saving we are making means more of the licence fee than ever is going on producing the best quality shows.”
In its most recent annual report, the BBC gives the number of staff at 16,672. It is impossible to expect an organization of this size to know how many meeting rooms it requires, especially at a time of massive staff restructuring and relocating.
“Would the Daily Mail prefer it if the BBC spent millions on a building full of meeting rooms that lie empty for large portions of the week?” says Caleb Parker, CEO of MeetingRooms.com
In this unfolding drama, we think that the BBC is holding the winning card.
Cue: end of story.
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