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BBC can embark on ‘big push’ to move staff out of London, says director-general

Lord Tony Hall told the Daily Telegraph that 70% of the BBC’s staff could be based outside the capital.

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(Ben Stansall/PA)

(Ben Stansall/PA)

(Ben Stansall/PA)

The BBC can embark on a “big push” to move more staff out of London, the corporation’s outgoing director-general has said.

Doing so would help the organisation to be more relevant to licence fee payers, Lord Tony Hall told the Daily Telegraph.

He added that 70% of BBC staff could be placed outside of London, according to the newspaper.

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Lord Tony Hall (David Parry/PA)

Lord Tony Hall (David Parry/PA)

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Lord Tony Hall (David Parry/PA)

“What we’ve learnt from Covid is that you don’t need as many buildings as you think, therefore you can be more diverse in where you centre people,” he said.

“I think we can do a big push to get more out of London, and that changes the dynamic of the discussions you have and therefore – and I hate using the the word relevance, but I will do – your relevance to the people that are paying for you.”

Lord Hall said it is not the BBC’s job to “take sides”, adding: “We should not pander to any particular group; we should be giving everybody, whoever they are, something.

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Tim Davie (Chris Radburn/PA)

Tim Davie (Chris Radburn/PA)

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Tim Davie (Chris Radburn/PA)

“We should try to be the calm centre in what is a very stormy situation.”

In January, Lord Hall announced plans to move two-thirds of the corporation’s staff outside London “at least” by 2027.

BBC Studios head Tim Davie is due to replace Lord Hall as director-general of the corporation.

PA