BBC staff paid up to £90,000 to relocate to new Salford-based headquarters
According to figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws the BBC has paid its staff up to £90,000 to relocate to its new headquarters in Salford.
According to the Daily Telegraph, a sum total of £11 million has been spent covering the costs of estate agents' fees, stamp duty, furnishing, rent and other bills for around 850 staff, with some employees given lump sums worth 10 per cent of their salary in a bid to encourage them to move.
With a further 1,000 expected to relocate within the next decade the cost is expected to rise further. More than 170 staff have taken advantage of the "assisted relocation" package, which sees the BBC cover moving costs.
The FOI request shows that so far £1.2 million has been spent on stamp duty, £740,846 on estate agents' fees, £497,617 on removals, £350,000 on legal fees, and a further £305,962 on furnishings.
One-off payment incentives to move to Media City have also reached £682,285, with the highest individual payment reaching £90,605.
A halfway-house deal, known as a "remote location allowance", where staff keep their main home in London and have rent and some of their travel expenses paid has been accepted by 174 members of staff.
The broadcaster is also offering to sell staff's homes on their behalf via a third party for a guaranteed price, equivalent to 85 per cent of the market. So far this has cost the BBC £621,000 with 25 staff members partaking in the scheme, a further 188 employees have their Salford-based rent paid, a cost of £1.1 million.
A BBC spokesperson has commented: "BBC North absolutely represents value for money for License Fee Payers, delivered on time and significantly under budget and being one of the BBC’s most efficient and cost effective centres.
"Since becoming operational in May 2011 BBC North has also begun to make a positive contribution to the regional economy - creating a world-class talent pool and strengthening and supporting the region’s creative industries resulting in programmes made across the North for national audiences."