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BBC SALFORD HANDS PEEL MEDIA £500,000 FOR NOTHING AT MEDIACITYUK
 

Star date: 21st May 2013

PEEL GROUP CASHES IN ON BBC AT MEDIACITYUK

The BBC handed £500,000 to Peel Media for studio space it didn't use at MediaCityUK, according to a new National Audit Office Report.

While the media has concentrated on the huge expenses of BBC staff involved in the move to Salford, the astronomical contracts signed with its private landlord, totalling over £16million a year, have been overlooked.

Full details here…


A new National Audit Office report on the BBC's move to Salford reveals that the Corporation paid £500,000 to Peel Media - the Peel Holdings subsidiary which runs MediaCityUKfor studio space it didn't use.

In 2007 the BBC signed a contract with Peel to rent studios and production facilities at MediaCityUK which committed it to spend at least £5.7million a year. Three years later, however, it signed a different contract to guarantee Peel rents of £82.8 million over ten years, guaranteeing minimum annual payments on three different types of studio hire. 

The BBC was warned against the contract by its legal team, which stated that if there was any underspend on one type of studio hire the Corporation would still have to pay the full cost. Which, is indeed, what happened last year – and the BBC had to cough up £500,000 for space it didn't use.

The Audit Office report states that the BBC went ahead with the dodgy contract to ensure that a full range of services were available but also "keeping it profitable for Peel Media Studios Ltd".

The BBC Trust now recommends "The BBC needs to better match its contract for studio space at Salford with the needs of the departments that relocated".

Altogether, the BBC is committed to paying Peel Media £253.8million for rents at MediaCityUK. This breaks down as £171million on a twenty year buildings lease to 2030, and £82.8million on a ten year studio and production lease to 2020. Annually this works out at almost £17million a year.

Peel is also cashing in on the BBC use of hotels, car parks, apartments, communications etc. Indeed, in January 2012, the Salford Star showed how MediaCityUK was virtually totally paid for with public money, despite being owned by the private conglomerate Peel Holdings (click here for full breakdown, although the studio rent was based on twenty years rather than ten).

Meanwhile, the National Audit Office report states that as of December 2012 there were 2,282 BBC staff working at MediaCityUK, of which only 39 were new recruits from Salford (or 34 according to latest figures – see here). These include just two jobs for young people from the BBC's `Young Ambassadors Project' out of nine who were taken onto the low paid scheme (see here).

The departments based at Salford spent £6.2 million on hotels, taxis, flights, rail and hire cars in 2011-12; while £24 million was spent to compensating BBC employees who relocated to Salford – with the Corporation criticised in the Audit Office report for "inadequate" control on the elaborate packages in some cases.

The whole move to Salford, mushroomed from an original estimate of £876million to £1,114million. And the jury is still out on whether the BBC has met its objectives, which were to "better serve audiences in the north of England, improve quality of content for all audiences, improve efficiency and provide economic and other benefits to the region."

Despite Salford Mayor, Ian Stewart, putting out a press statement expaining that "the National Audit Office's assessment that the BBC's move north has led to such a rapid economic growth in Salford is a vindication of the drive and vision that my predecessors had in bringing this revolution to bear" etc etc, the report actually concludes that "It is too early to judge the long-term impact of the move… There have been some early impacts, such as an increase in the gross value added by the BBC's spend in the region. However, in our view, it is too early to assess the full impact of the move as it will take at least two to three years for it to take effect."

Meanwhile, over the next few years, any benefits accrued so far could well go into reverse, as the BBC looks to cut £151million from its budget before 2030.

Peel Media, with its secure contracts for over £250million from the BBC, may well be the only ones laughing all the way to the bank by then…

To read the full National Audit Office report - click here

adam wrote
at 07:00:20 on 01 June 2013
Fantastic journalism
 
liverpool preservation trust wrote
at 13:26:59 on 24 May 2013
Peel Holdings in Private Eye again http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/stella-shiu-exposed-in-private-eye.html
 
john wrote
at 15:34:35 on 23 May 2013
I listened to a program on bbc radio Manchester about how the bbc coming to Salford had brought 100 million pounds into the local economy . I was shocked to say the least because I live close to the bbc and I see absolutely NO evidence of any upturn in the local economy whatsoever . if anything the local economy is dying if it is not on the precious Salford quays will the bbc have the gonads to send a reporter up to langworthy to see the debacle that is Salford councils idea of regeneration I very much doubt it
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 21:34:11 on 22 May 2013
As for Mr Felse's note on giving 20% to charity, I've no doubt Peel will do this (they'll write it off against taxable income!). Sometimes I think the chaps at the funhouse don't even consider the implications of Peel's (or other developers)Plans on an area because of the large amount of Financial influence this company has...so long as the Reds Fans on the Council are happy we'll keep on signing the blank cheques to Peel and Auntie/ITV will Follow suit. If a Multi-Million Pound organisation can't sort its own land out without going to the LA and throwing its dummy out of the pram if it don't get what it wants - why doesn't someone (from any layer of authority) point out it's responsibilities.
 
wrote
at 19:39:58 on 22 May 2013
OMPG - three Labour councillors from one family, no chance of them falling foul of the bedroom tax with THREE councillor incomes. Labour is a joke of double (sorry treble) standards. Wonder if any other double acts are councillors using differnet names. Maybe we have civil partnerships? Split me sides lafin.
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 18:14:18 on 22 May 2013
Wrote, you have missed Peter Wheelers wife off your list. Sue Pugh the Claremont Councillor is his wife.
 
wrote
at 09:59:09 on 22 May 2013
Funny - Salford Councillors are Eric & Val Burgoyne, Karen & Robin Garrido, John & Michelle Mullen, Jo & Thomas Murphy, Brendan & Pat Ryan, Michael & Peter Wheeler, George & Ronnie Wilson, so why not another Wilson for Labour, Salford cannot be accused of not making happy families, all we need is Julie & James Parkbench to stand with a red rosette for Labour.
 
Scale hill wrote
at 08:41:38 on 22 May 2013
Seems like Salford Uni weren't the only ones to get mugged by Peel.
 
not a brain dead labour voter wrote
at 08:40:57 on 22 May 2013
Salford reds all over Granada reports tonight, Ian Stewart was on the programme, finally been found out to be yet another lying labour champaign drinking hypocrite capitalist socialist bastard, just admitted to giving this white elephant of a club £600,000 of our money again. if the man had any conscience or moral fibre he'd resign his position and haul his arse back to Scotland where he belongs, but the chance of this happening is zero, just another long line of Salford labour party parasites to infest this city. Mr Salford mk 2 koukash, refused to be interviewed on the matter, to busy counting Salford tax payers cash, I presume. PS on the election front, David Wilson is the Labour candidate, wouldn't be a relative of labour weaste & seedley councillor Ronnie Wilson, talk about keeping it in the family, .....REMEMBER PEOPLE THERE'S ONLY ONE PARTY AND THAT'S UKIP, ...LABOUR OUT
 
wrote
at 20:50:39 on 21 May 2013
Hmmm..."An Inclusive business community that makes everybody proud". Nice sentiment Mr Felse. Am yet to see any fruit of employment from Peel Schemes affecting youth unemployment (Though i'd be overjoyed if there were!) and as for the rest of us? well, the buildings look nice...(sic!). Believe the words when I see credible action, after all it's the rate payers/licence payers funding it isn't it?
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 15:43:21 on 21 May 2013
WOW this is half a million pounds of our money. I urge Peel to donate ten per cent of the amount to Salford Mental Health Charities and ten per cent towards safeguarding homeless accommodations. This great caring city must build an inclusive business community that makes everybody proud.
 
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