|BBC turns down outstanding offer!
Tue 05 Feb 2013
Before Christmas, DorBAG became aware that the lease for the old BBC studio building in the back streets of Dorchester (opposite Argos) was coming up for renewal. The BBC was planning to renew the lease, and to upgrade the facilities to cater for the new staff and requirements, ready for the launch of the new breakfast programme due this summer. So Oliver Letwin MP, and a few representatives from DorBAG, met with managers from the BBC at the new Brewery Square development in Dorchester (www.brewerysquare.co.uk).
The management team at Brewery Square gave an excellent presentation of the site, the opportunities available for a prestigious new studio and also demonstrated the new Big Screen live. The BBC managers were clearly impressed. Subsequently a very suitable site was found in the main square near the Big Screen, which was available in the the BBC's time frame. This, we thought, would be an ideal opportunity to start from new, and have a very modern, high profile facility in the Square ready for the launch of the new programme.
Following a further meeting with the Brewery Square Management, the BBC were offered a deal such that the rent plus all the fitting out costs was basically the same as the BBC would have to pay for the renewed lease on the old studio, plus the upgrade that they have to do.
You would think that the possibility, at no extra cost, to move from an old back street building to a brand new one in the centre of a very prestigiopus square, ready to launch the new programme, would be a "no brainer". An excellent opportunity to give the staff a much better facility and also have a much higher profile in the town. It would be a clear statement by the BBC to the people of Dorset that they care. But then, if you know the BBC, you will realise that nothing is straight forward.
Would you believe that they have turned down the offer, and have said they will extend the lease and upgrade the old building?
Words fail us!
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