Following a Freedom of Information request, the Salford Star can reveal that the BBC has not paid any business rates yet for its new base at MediaCityUK.
The BBC made its first programme at the site last February and the move north is set to be complete in April this year. In reply to the Freedom of Information request, Peter Salmon, Director of BBC North stated… "The BBC occupied MediaCityUK premises have yet to be assessed and therefore no rates are as yet payable".
According to the Government's Valuation Office, the BBC Studios alone have a rateable value of £2.66million, which would (according to our calculations) make the business rates bill over £1million.
The business rates are calculated and collected by Salford Council but then go into a national government pool before being re-distributed around the country. The Local Government and Finance Bill, currently going through Parliament, will allow local authorities to retain business rates from 2013-14.
The Freedom of Information response added that "BBC North will not be fully operational until April 2012, when the last of the departments currently scheduled to move to MediaCityUK will be in place".
The letter was signed by Peter Salmon, Director BBC North. Unfortunately, the address at the top of the letter is given as White City, Wood Lane, London…