Written By Katie Smith – Executive Assistant to the MD at Alchemy Global Talent Solutions
The BBC’s 2013 relocation from White City to Salford presented lucrative opportunities for the removals industry. Does Channel 4’s potential relocation to the West Midlands mean further opportunities are on the way?
Nostalgic global audiences will remember the relocation of the BBC from the organisation’s traditional White City stronghold at BBC Television Centre, to Salford in the North West. With a bill of £224 million the move was the largest relocation project in the BBC’s estate strategy; Commercial Removals firms scrambled to fill the requirement of arguably the world’s most famous and historic broadcasting service as high volumes of people and equipment were relocated.
Additional profitable opportunities may soon be on the way for the Removals Industry, with the West Midlands officially launching a bid to become the new home of competing broadcaster Channel 4. Though Channel 4 itself seems reticent to consider this new location, the rival BBC News website seemingly points the finger at 4’s personnel distribution: “A consultation into the broadcaster’s future was launched after the government carried out an 18-month review of the publicly-owned channel, which has more than 800 staff but fewer than 30 based outside central London” – a key reason for the BBC’s move was the balance of its workforce throughout the UK, and it seems unlikely that this is a point the BBC will let competing Channel 4 forget! Of course with the relocation of a workforce comes the need for removals and relocations services.
Whilst Channel 4 argues recruitment quality will suffer in the North with the “considerably smaller and less experienced pool of talent” outside London, Commercial Movers are observing with interest the government’s pointed response that “the benefits of this national asset [are] to be spread far and wide, not just in London” (Karen Bradley – Culture Secretary)… Benefits to savvy Movers being the incoming potential for lucrative government contracts; Movers may reason that if the BBC could manage a relocation on this scale Channel 4 is likely to follow suit and with a presumably similar budget likely to be allocated the eyes of the relocation sector remain firmly fixed on what the media has dubbed as the “relocation row”.
With thoughts turning to the initial stages of bids and tender research for Channel 4, no doubt those forward thinkers in the UK’s Removals Industry will not only be investigating potential new sites for Channel 4’s relocation, but considering the prospects of any soon to be vacant property left over as a result of the move. The BBC provides another great example of the business opportunities afforded by the relocation of a large government entity: the broadcaster’s old commercial sites are now under development at White City, with grade II listed as well as new commercial and residential properties up for grabs in the latter half of 2017 and 2018.
The 950 fashionable Television Centre properties are now in high demand with properties already being snapped up by trendy executives eager to move into the remarkable remnants’ of the BBC’s once prominent hub; able to boast that their new homes and offices once played host to the likes of David Attenborough, Ronnie Corbett and Bruce Forsyth amongst many noteworthy others. With property prices ranging from circa £650,000 for a one bed flat to around £7 million for penthouses, these are likely to be premium level moves involving the logistical relocation of art, antiques and other luxury paraphernalia… And who will facilitate these high end moves? No doubt commercial, residential and specialist / fine art Movers will be stepping up to fill the need.