Staff worries over BBC Birmingham move

Journalists fear BBC Birmingham’s proposed move from Pebble Mill in November will be a “fiasco” that will harm their work.

Staff who have seen the new Mailbox premises in the city centre say it is smaller than Pebble Mill and its smaller car park will cause problems. It is also said to have low ceilings, which some journalists say will lead to cramped newsrooms.

“There’s a general sense that this has been a fiasco from start to finish,” said a newsroom journalist at Pebble Mill. “Imagine arriving at work with a hot story but not being able to get into the building because there’s nowhere to park your car.” They also fear the rising cost of public car parking.

One production journalist said: “Fair enough, other BBC centres don’t have car parks for everyone, but at least staff have London weighting.”

NUJ broadcast organiser Paul McLaughlin confirmed journalists had voiced “fears and concerns that need to be addressed” over the move to the Mailbox.

A BBC spokesman said he “didn’t recognise” the description of the new premises as “cramped”, but conceded there would be less room for parking. He said 100 “operational spaces” would be available for journalists on duty that could be booked in advance.

“We can’t deny parking will be more difficult. But the move is in line with our environmental policy of getting more cars off the road. The Mailbox is situated near a railway station.”

He said the BBC was close to a solution on the parking problem, believed to involve leasing another car park.

Wale Azeez

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