BBC staff will be offered up to £46,000 each to relocate to a new media hub in Manchester by 2011.
A freedom of information request by the Sunday Times has revealed the broadcasting giant hopes the financial package will encourage 1,600 employees in children’s programming, Radio 5 Live and sport to make the move from the capital as the broadcasting company takes steps to appear less London-centric.
The employees will be entitled to expenses of up to £1,900 a month to cover the costs of rent and bills in Salford for two years, enabling them to keep their homes in the south east and return there at weekends. Those who decide to move permanently will be paid a lump sum of £8,000 tax free to help them cover the costs of moving house – this includes up to £3,000 to buy new curtains and carpets.
A BBC spokesman told Personnel Today: “The support we offer is in line with other major employers in the public and private sectors because we know we must be able to justify our policy to the public in a difficult economic climate.” He added: “Only a fraction of staff in very specific circumstances would qualify for the remote relocation scheme.”
Staff whose partners struggle to find work in the North West could also be eligible for the scheme, according to the BBC.