BBC to anchor major development

The BBC has unveiled plans to move its main Birmingham base to the new creative quarter in Digbeth from 2026.

Currently based at The Mailbox, BBC Midlands will relocate to a new purpose-built broadcast centre at the former Typhoo Factory site in the city.

The decision has been taken as part of the BBC’s Across the UK strategy to transform its impact across the Midlands. The new centre – which the broadcaster says will cost less to run than The Mailbox site – will also support delivery of the corporation’s net zero commitments.

As the anchor tenant, the BBC, which is currently showcasing Birmingham and the wider region to the world through its Commonwealth Games coverage from Centenary Square, will be a catalyst for the wider creative regeneration of the Digbeth creative quarter, helping to attract additional investment and production to the Midlands.

All of the teams currently based at The Mailbox, including Newsbeat and the Asian Network (who relocate to the city later this year) will move to the centre.

Digbeth Loc Studios, the future home of the BBC’s flagship food entertainment strand MasterChef, will be adjacent to the BBC’s new home.

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.

“This decision is one of a number of exciting announcements which strengthen our commitment to the region, including the relocation of programmes like MasterChef and Newsbeat.”

Stuart Thomas, head of BBC Midlands, says: “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 are moving to Birmingham; an Apprentice Hub opened last month helping more people to work in the sector; and Newsbeat and the Asian Network move to the city in the autumn. More programmes have been commissioned in the region including Two Tone from the creator of Peaky Blinders, Steven Knight and Phoenix Rise for BBC Children’s.

The BBC is broadcasting over 200 hours of live sport from the city throughout the Commonwealth Games supported by additional content across BBC TV, Radio and Online.

The announcement of the BBC’s preferred development site – which has been approved by the BBC Executive and BBC Board – is subject to concluding legal agreements over the coming months.