Council leaders have met with senior BBC officials to discuss the future of BBC Elstree, home to the corporation’s flagship soap, EastEnders.
The meeting comes after the BBC announced that it is looking to dispose of the site in Borehamwood and lease back the recently rebuilt EastEnders lot. At the meeting, Cllr Morris Bright MBE, Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council and our Managing Director, Sajida Bijle, committed to getting relevant parties round the table as a matter of urgency. They were joined by Hertsmere’s Member of Parliament, the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE.
Cllr Bright said: “Our message was very clear. The BBC Elstree must remain as a site for media production. The meeting, which lasted over an hour was very amicable and we were very pleased that the BBC appear to be listening to us.
“The news that the BBC is looking to dispose of its BBC Elstree site is not new, just further progressed, and what was essential is that as the BBC progress their ‘sale’ further, they understand very clearly what is expected of them by the residents and businesses of Hertsmere in general and Borehamwood in particular and what the unequivocal wishes of the local authority are.
“At a time when there is a clamouring in the industry for more sound stages it would be perverse to consider selling a brownfield site off for development. This would see the loss of sound stages, especially when proposals are coming forward for new studios and stages on greenfield sites in Borehamwood. I believe the BBC are starting to understand this.”
A further meeting with the Director General of the BBC, Tim Davie, is due to take place imminently.
Cllr Bright concluded: “It is crucial that the BBC, as custodians of the oldest studios in Hertsmere, understand their responsibility to the thousands of people who rely on BBC Elstree for their livelihoods.
“I am grateful that our Member of Parliament and former Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, joined us for the meeting. By all working together I believe we can achieve an outcome that will met the needs and expectations of all sides.”
Posted on Monday 5th September 2022