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MPs condemn relocation costs of up to £150,000 each for BBC staff moving to Salford

By Darren Boyle

The Public Accounts Committee has attacked the BBC after it emerged 11 staff members received relocation allowances of more than £100,000 to move to Salford.

One of the staff members, who has not been named, received £150,000

Committee chair Margaret Hodge MP said: “The scale of some of the allowances paid to staff to relocate to Salford is difficult to justify.”

Hodge said the BBC completed the move to Salford within time and within budget but there were still some concerns about the move.

“The longer term success of the move to Salford depends on the BBC achieving the wider benefits it promised. These include reducing the gap between Northern and Southern audiences in the BBC’s market share and stimulating economic and other regional benefits, including creating up to 15,000 jobs.”

Hodge expressed concern that the corporation has signed a 10-year deal for studio space in Salford when it may not be needed due to changing requirements.

“We are dismayed at the abandonment of the BBC’s Digital Media Initiative at a cost to the licence fee payer of £100 million. There have been conflicting reports from the BBC and the BBC Trust on what the project did or did not deliver. We will return to this matter later in the year, once the facts have been established.”

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The committee found that almost one in ten staff who relocated north received an allowance in excess of the BBC guidelines.

“In many cases, these exceptions, and the reasons for making them, were not clearly recorded by the BBC.”

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