As the BBC’s £240m plans to move some of its productions to Manchester progress, it’s been revealed that over half of the 1600 people meant to be moving have decided to take redundancy and stay home in the south.
The plan to move entire departments to Manchester, including sport, children’s TV and Radio 5, is to create a less London centric image for the corporation, but it’s been criticised as being a largely PC motivated plan as it doesn’t matter where these programmes are produced. Indeed, sport takes place at locations across the UK and is one department where the location of its office is least important. However sports producers and staff have little choice in the matter as there is likely to be few other job opportunities in the south once the BBC has left. The only other major sports producers being ITV and Sky, who are currently ok for staff thank you very much.
Incentives to move are substantial. Homeowners will get up to £8000 in re-location expenses – including £3000 towards curtain and carpets! Others who have to maintain a home in the south will get £1900 a month towards renting in the north for two years.
These large numbers of stay-at-homes, will cost the BBC dearly in redundancy payments, thought to total around £2m, plus the cost of recruiting more staff in the north. So the BBC could be the first business to actually lose money by relocating from the south to the north.
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