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BBC Wales HQ finds home in Cardiff's new Capital Square development

BBC Cymru Wales

At the end of 2013, Cardiff Council revealed plans to redevelop the area north of Cardiff Central train station, and to create a ‘gateway to Wales’. These plans were updated in May 2014 when Cardiff Council announced that they had moved forward with plans to acquire the lease to the entire development area and created an interactive model which displayed how the Cardiff Capital Square development might look.

However, while computer-generated images revealed how the project might appear, the occupants of the newly constructed offices remained a mystery - until now! It has been revealed that BBC Wales will be moving their headquarters from their current base in Llandaff to Cardiff’s newest business centre, Capital Square. BBC Cymru Wales will therefore get closer to the Roath Lock studios down the Bay where many beloved BBC dramas are filmed, such as Doctor Who, Pobol y Cwm and Casualty.

BBC Wales’ new headquarters’ specifications

Due to open in 2018, the new BBC Wales headquarters are expected to be roughly 150,000 sq ft (13,936 sq m) in size, and cost around £100m, which the BBC hopes to pay for - in part - through the sale of their current land in Llandaff. The building will house all of their existing staff, as well as some S4C employees after the two Welsh media outlets announced plans to share some broadcasting services.

Construction could begin as soon as summer 2015, provided Cardiff Council is successful in acquiring the land and is able to finalise a deal to relocate the Cardiff bus station, which will need to be demolished to make way for the Capital Square development. If all of the necessary paperwork is completed without any issues, construction of the headquarters is expected to be finished in early 2018, with the relocation process completed in autumn of the same year.

Designed by Lord Norman Foster from Foster + Partners, the new five storey headquarters will house state-of-the art technology and broadcasting facilities which will help improve the quality of the BBC’s shows and services while ensuring that the BBC’s commitment to high quality results is maintained. The new headquarters are also expected to open their doors to around 50,000 visitors (members of the public) each year.

Speaking about the decision to relocate to Capital Square, BBC Cymru Wales’ director Rhodri Talfan Davies said that it provided “a chance to be closer to audiences”.

He then continued to say:

"The public rightly demand the best from the BBC - and this development will at last give our programming teams the tools, the technology and the facilities to serve our audiences for decades to come".

Cardiff Council, which are hopeful that the BBC’s decision to relocate to the area will be replicated by other organisations in the near future, revealed that the new BBC Wales headquarters will boost the Capital Square scheme both financially and socially by hopefully attracting more high profile organisations into the area. Cardiff Council anticipate that the Capital Square scheme will offer 1,000,000 sq ft of new office, leisure and residential space, and announced that a scheme dedicated to bringing companies and home owners to the area is well under way.

Are you a student living in Cardiff? What do you think about the BBC’s decision to relocate to the heart of Cardiff? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to share them with us on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter!

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