BBC hotel bill soars to £2m
Filed under: News
These costs follow the £2m spent in two years transporting BBC staff between London, Salford and Manchester.
Need to know: Savings
Overnight costsThe numbers - in part - come from a Freedom of Information request from the Mail. The BBC's expenses are the consequence of the broadcaster's new regionalisation policy, which insists 50% of all programmes must be made outside the Capital by 2016.
The consequence of this - so far, at least - is that temporary accommodation expenses are high. "Staff are regularly required to work from different BBC offices around the UK to attend meetings or meet production needs," says the BBC press office, "and there will always be costs associated with this."
It adds: "These figures therefore cover accommodation costs for the team responsible for the technology fit-out and technical proving and staff from the moving departments, including Sport, Children's and Radio 5Live who were initially operating over two sites – broadcasting from their base in London and preparing their new base in Salford."
Overall, it claims that part-quitting London will save it more than £700m, so the rise in hotel bills should be seen in context of the bigger savings picture.
More consultantsBut the National Audit Office claims that much of the BBC's cost-cutting performance so far has not been co-ordinated or consistent. Witness the Beeb's recent decision to hire hugely expensive consulting operator McKinsey to review its news operations at a time when budget cuts are all over the place.
The BBC Trust spent, it has also emerged, £190,000 on fees paid to City headhunters Egon Zehnder to help it find a new director-general (were they completely clueless on likely candidates?).
The BBC has already sold its iconic Television Centre - the corporation's first purpose-built site for TV production - for £200m to property developers Stanhope plc, which was responsible for much of the Tate Modern project. Television Centre was home to shows from Fawlty Towers to Blue Peter.