16 March 2023

Planners approve BBC’s new Digbeth factory home

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Birmingham City Council planners have given the go ahead for the BBC’s new home at the former Typhoo Tea factory in Digbeth.

Leading developer Stoford, which submitted the application on behalf of the corporation, said receiving planning approval for the new 84,001 sq ft custom-built centre, to be known as The Tea Factory, was an exciting next step in its plans.

Gerard Ludlow, Director at Stoford, said the Bordesley Street landmark represents the first phase of a wider masterplan for the surrounding area.

“Our hard work over the past couple of years has built up to this and we are excited to be given the go ahead to begin transforming and reusing the building,” he said.

“We’ve been working closely with the BBC to ensure we not only keep the historic legacy of the almost 100-year-old factory but also deliver a pioneering scheme using low carbon principles. We are looking forward to breathing new life into it.”

The development of the BBC’s new home will also be a catalyst to reinvigorate the wider area.

“We all recognise the opportunities the creation of The Tea Factory will bring because it will help to attract both private and public sector investment into Digbeth,” added Gerard. 

The Tea Factory will be one of Birmingham’s first net zero carbon in construction office buildings and when complete will house several BBC editorial teams including The Archers, BBC Asian Network, BBC Newsbeat, BBC Radio WM and Midlands Today.

The building is on target to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘outstanding’ and an energy performance certificate (EPC) of ‘A’.

Stuart Thomas, BBC Head of Midlands says: “This is a crucial and exciting step on the road to the BBC moving into The Tea Factory in 2026. Having a new home for the BBC in Birmingham is all part of our commitment to do more in the Midlands, and breathing life into this wonderful factory will help turbo charge the whole of Digbeth into the city’s creative heart.”

Birmingham City Council leader Cllr Ian Ward said: "The new BBC HQ at The Tea Factory represents a huge vote of confidence in Birmingham and our creative sector, so I'm delighted the project has now been granted planning permission.

"Our vision for Digbeth is to build on established creative businesses, attracting and encouraging new ones, and the BBC move added to the coming of HS2, the Midland Metro extension and the Masterchef move will help us attract further investment.

"Birmingham is a city of untapped talent and the BBC’s investment will help that talent flourish and grow, as we create new jobs and opportunities for our citizens."

Over the next decade, Stoford plans to deliver up to 800,000 sq ft of new residential, office and hospitality accommodation around the new BBC building. The wider scheme will see more than 10 acres of underutilised land around Typhoo Wharf and the adjoining canal basin transformed into a new mixed-use neighbourhood characterised by attractive public spaces and open thoroughfares. 

For more information about Typhoo Wharf, visit: www.typhoowharf.co.uk  

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