Go-ahead for new BBC Wales HQ

Construction starts next month on the second phase of the £400m Central Square Cardiff regeneration scheme.

Cardiff's Central Square development
Above: Cardiff’s Central Square development

The next stage includes a 120,000 sq ft building that will be the new headquarters of BBC Wales as well as a speculative office development called Two Central Square.

The go-ahead followed investor Legal & General and developer Rightacres signing a 20-year lease with the BBC.

The deal includes the acquisition by Legal & General Capital of One Central Square, a 135,000 sq ft office development being built by Willmott Dixon, which is due to reach practical completion in February 2016.

Two Central Square will comprise an office building of approximately 100,000 sq ft with basement car parking and retail units available to let on the ground floor. It will be available for fitting out by incoming tenants from mid-2017. It will be built simultaneously, and alongside, the new headquarters of BBC Cymru Wales, a five-story building (pictured below) designed by Foster & Partners. This expected to be ready for occupation by the BBC at the start of 2018.

The overall Central Square scheme will see a mixed use development of commercial, residential, office and retail facilities as well as a new transport interchange in the centre of the Welsh Capital. It is being delivered by Rightacres and the City of Cardiff Council next to the city’s railway station.

City of Cardiff Council leader Phil Bale said of the BBC deal being signed off:  “This is wonderful news for Cardiff and for the Council’s plans to regenerate this part of the city. Now work can begin in earnest on transforming Central Square in line with our Foster + Partners masterplan, creating a world-class gateway to Wales and the capital that everyone can be proud of.

“The city centre will now be home to several landmark buildings including the new BBC Wales broadcasting centre and the new transport interchange. No 1 Central Square, designed by award-winning Cardiff firm Rio Architects, has already risen up out of the ground and everyone can see with their own eyes the ambition we have for the area. I’m delighted the BBC share our vision for Central Square and wanted to be part of our plans to rebuild this crucially important part of our city centre.”