The BBC's White City 2 Development: Twenty-fourth Report of Session 2005-06; Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

The BBC's White City 2 property development in West London comprises three new buildings, which were built next to an existing BBC building known as White City 1. White City 2 was financed by Land Securities Trillium under a 30 year partnership deal with the BBC, which also covered property services at 48 other BBC locations. The cost of construction for White City 2 was £210 million, along with £60.9 million for furniture and technical fit-out of the buildings. The development was completed on time, but the Committee of Public Accounts found several aspects of the project constituting risks to value for money. The cost of the development also exceeded the amount originally approved by the BBC Governors, along with significant variations to the scheme as the project progressed. The Committee set out a number of conclusions and recommendations: that the whole life costs of projects should be assessed and made available to the BBC Governors; the BBC should better integrate design and construction, so reducing the risk of design changes after contracts have begun; the license fee money should not be used to subsidise the BBC's commercial subsidiaries, and that rent charged for the sublet of buildings should meet the BBC's costs; that the BBC should not hold on to property which it does not need or which it cannot use cost-effectively; the BBC in future should follow public sector good practice, in particular in estimating whole life costs of projects, monitoring returns to the private sector, obtaining refinancing benefits, and integrating design and construction.

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