BBC to sell EastEnders studios for £70m to bolster flagging finances

The BBC has put up a for-sale sign at the studio behind EastEnders, as broadcasters battle falling income from license fees.

The corporation plans to offload BBC Studios Elstree and lease the space back to a new owner, allowing the long-running British soap to continue filming on site.

As well as hosting EastEnders, the studio is used for BBC set-piece events, such as the Children in Need broadcast and UK election coverage. Elstree is reportedly worth around £70million.

According to an advert seen by OlxPraca, commercial property agents Lambert Smith Hampton have been hired to scout potential suitors, giving it “a unique opportunity to acquire an iconic piece of production history and write the next chapter”. “Opportunity”.

The listing says the broadcaster is open to exploring “a number of potential disposal structures”.

The sale is part of BBC director-general Tim Davey’s efforts to boost commercial profits amid an ongoing erosion of the organisation’s £3.2bn annual license fee income.

These efforts helped the broadcaster’s commercial arm – BBC Studios – make record profits of £226 million last year. However, he has faced internal resistance to some of his projects.

The move to capitalize on the rapid growth of podcasts by commercializing Radio 4 programs for overseas audiences has been met with backlash from some BBC staff, who believe it undermines the organisation’s public service. Values ​​can be threatened.

The decision to offload Elstree comes as the TV and film production sector faces a severe shortage of studio space due to unsatisfied demand for content from US streaming companies.

Last year, Netflix announced a long-term lease with Longcross Studios, the production facility behind James Bond’s Skyfall and Star Wars.

Netflix already has exclusive access to most of Shepperton Studios in west London, while Disney rents most of Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire.

BBC executives are understood to be seeing the sale of the studio as an opportunity to reduce its operating costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

A BBC spokesman said: “As part of our ongoing review of the BBC’s property portfolio we are exploring the sale of Elstree and part-leasing for the continued production of EastEnders. .

“There are long-term commitments to the continued use of Elstree for parts supporting EstEnders.”