BBC Birmingham’s move to a new state-of-the-art headquarters in Digbeth moved a significant step closer today, as The Tea Factory was given the green light by Birmingham City Council planners.
Last summer the BBC announced plans to move out its current home at The Mailbox and into new premises built at the former Typhoo Tea factory, in the heart of Digbeth’s creative quarter.
BBC staff are expected to move into The Tea Factory in 2026 and the new site, set to be the BBC’s most sustainable and flexible centre, will be home to BBC Midlands Today, BBC Radio WM, The Archers, BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat and Asian Network News.
Today’s news is the latest boost to Digbeth’s growing reputation as a centre for media production and follows January’s planning consent for a new studio to host flagship BBC cookery programme MasterChef.
Birmingham City Council leader Cllr Ian Ward said: “As the BBC clearly recognises, this is a city on the up and I’m delighted that their new Tea Factory HQ has now secured planning permission. This represents a significant vote of confidence in Digbeth’s burgeoning creative quarter, and the BBC has a big role to play in Birmingham’s future success.
“With HS2, the Midland Metro extension and MasterChef on the way, our vision for Digbeth is to build on established creative businesses, attracting and encouraging new ones, while developing a vibrant urban community with entertainment, living and cultural opportunities.
“Now, we aim to use this BBC move as a catalyst for the wider regeneration and development of Digbeth as a hub for media and creativity.”
Head of the Midlands for the BBC, Stuart Thomas, said “This is a crucial step on the road to 2026 and the BBC having a new home in Britain’s second city. Our upcycled, dedicated building will help turbo-charge the ambition of turning Digbeth into a world-class creative quarter.
“It comes as we continue to increase output from the Midlands – just next month we’ll have a new daily programme on 1Xtra coming from Birmingham, while next week Phoenix Rise launches, a 10-part school drama set and filmed in Coventry.