BBC to quit Bush House, home to the World Service for 60 years

The BBC is to quit Bush House near Aldwych, London, from which the World Service has broadcast since 1940, in a major shake up of its news operations.

The BBC is to quit Bush House near Aldwych, London, from which the World Service has broadcast since 1940, in a major shake up of its news operations.

World Service staff will move to Broadcasting House, near Oxford Street, together with the radio and television news operations, now in west London.

The move will be complete by 2008 said a BBC spokeswoman. Bush House, which was originally designed as a trade centre but became a symbol of the corporation, will return to its Japanese owner.

It is likely to upset BBC traditionalists but the spokeswoman said it was the best decision for the future of the World Service. The corporation has long wanted the service to work alongside other news operations.

"Bush House is an iconic building for those who live in London, but the vast majority of the World Service's 150 million listeners have no idea what it looks like," she said.

Broadcasting House, a Grade II listed 1939 building, will become the centre of a new complex which will involve the refurbishment of two 1960s office blocks which are now under-used by the BBC.

The shake up will mean the closure of a £30m news centre completed in 1997 at Television Centre in west London. Journalists were moved there from Broadcasting House and will now have to return.

The BBC spokeswoman denied that money had been wasted on television Centre, saying that by the time it closed, it would have had 10 years use and its equipment would require updating anyway.

There would be no cost to the licence payers because the move and refurbishment would be financed through a partnership with a private company, the spokeswoman said.

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