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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 January 2007, 12:58 GMT
Future of BBC TV Centre in doubt
Television Centre
TV Centre has hosted shows like Top of the Pops and Blue Peter
BBC Television Centre, the BBC's largest property and home to dozens of programmes, could be closed.

An ongoing property review has raised questions over whether the west London site, opened in 1960, is still needed.

About 1,800 staff may move to Salford, while an upgraded Broadcasting House in London will take hundreds more.

The review, which is expected to report by the end of 2007, has been given new focus by reports that the BBC will get less licence fee money than it wants.

The BBC's long-term property strategy is to concentrate on Broadcasting House and the Wood Lane site, which includes Television Centre as well as the more modern White City and Media Village.

Value for money for licence fee payers will be a prime consideration
BBC spokesman
"The aim of this is to cut costs and provide buildings suitable for digital broadcasting," a spokesman said.

"As part of this, we are looking at the future role that Television Centre might play over the coming decades.

"We are currently costing a wide range of options, including a major refurbishment of Television Centre.

"As always, value for money for licence fee payers will be a prime consideration. There's still a great deal of work to be done before any decision can be taken."

The original building was famously designed on the back of an envelope and many of the older parts need plumbing, wiring and technical equipment replaced.

Licence fee

The core of the complex is a series of studios that have hosted shows like Top of the Pops, Blue Peter and Children In Need.

The move to Salford, expected in 2009, will affect children's programmes, sport, Five Live and new media. BBC News staff are due to go to Broadcasting House in central London.

The BBC has asked for the licence fee to rise by 1.8% above inflation rise in the coming years but reports have suggested the Treasury favours a lower settlement.

An announcement on the level of the BBC's future funding is expected soon.


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