BBC Midlands announce new broadcast centre for 2026, close to Screen and Film School Birmingham in Digbeth

10 August, 2022

Everyone at Screen and Film School Birmingham are delighted to share the news that the BBC are set to move their main Birmingham broadcast centre to Digbeth in 2026, right next to our very own Rea Studios on Floodgate Street. The BBC unveiled the plans to open this highly sustainable branch of its corporation in Digbeth’s new creative quarter last week. The move will provide a huge number of new opportunities for our students in the coming years.

Currently based at The Mailbox, BBC Midlands will relocate to a new purpose-built broadcast centre at the former Typhoo Tea Factory site. This particular area of Digbeth, which the Film School is fortunate enough to call home, was revitalised and christened as ‘the creative quarter’ in 2019. Characterised by a new visual identity for the neighbourhood, which features an instantly recognisable yellow brand colour which takes inspiration from the Custard Factory’s history as the birthplace of Bird’s Custard, which first opened in 1906.

The area was historically Birmingham’s key manufacturing hub and played an important role in the city’s industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. More recently it has undergone huge redevelopment, with former buildings such as the Custard Factory becoming home to an array of independent shops, startups and other creative businesses. As well as this, Peaky Blinders creator Stephen Knight also placed his Digbeth Loc. Studios here. It is the perfect area of the city for our students to begin taking their first steps into the world of film, and this latest news will prove invaluable for that journey.

The decision has been taken as part of the BBC’s Across the UK strategy to transform its impact across the Midlands. The new cutting-edge hub – which will cost less to run than The Mailbox site – will also support delivery of the corporation’s net zero commitments. As the anchor tenant of this new site, the BBC will be a catalyst for the wider creative regeneration of the Digbeth creative quarter, helping to attract additional investment and production to the region.

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, says: “This is another important day for the region. We said we would do more in the Midlands and we’re delivering. The new broadcast centre in Digbeth will give our teams the best facilities and technology to serve audiences for decades to come.

“Moving our Birmingham headquarters to Digbeth is going to help build the creative success of the region – drawing new investment and production to the Midlands – and sits at the heart of the BBC’s ‘Across the UK’ plans to deliver significant increases in editorial spend and decision-making outside London.

Stuart Thomas, Head of BBC Midlands, added this:

“This is the perfect home for the BBC in the Midlands, a building steeped in history now waiting to come back to life in one of the most up and coming, creative districts in the country. The reimagined former Typhoo Factory will be far more visible for our audience, in a greener, more accessible and more flexible space. We can’t wait to take up residence there, continuing to build on what we do best making the news and programmes in the Midlands that we all really care about.”

Earlier this year the BBC announced that all four MasterChef titles would be moving to Birmingham and further television series have been commissioned in the region, including Two Tone by Steven Knight, and Phoenix Rise for BBC Children’s.

Screen and Film School Birmingham Applicant Experience Manager Lucy Carey, who was born and raised in the region, had this to say about the exciting news:

“This is an extremely exciting development, not only for Birmingham as a city, but for the Digbeth community that we are proud to be a part of. The BBC will be just a few minutes’ walk from our front door. With Stephen Knight’s fabulous new studio also on our doorstep at The Bond, (whose first project will be the Peaky Blinders movie), MasterChef moving in nearby, and the establishment of the Custard factory, Digbeth is shaping up to be one of the most exciting developments anywhere in the country for film students.”

Ahead of the new school year, which is just a few short weeks away now, this news has been welcomed by everyone at Screen and Film School Birmingham. We look forward to meeting our new neighbours, the BBC, in Digbeth soon and to hopefully providing our students with lots of great industry opportunities with them.

 


 

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