The Tun, Edinburgh

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The Tun is a former brewery building in Holyrood Road, Edinburgh which has housed the BBC's offices and studios in the capital since March 2002. The BBC occupies space on the ground, first and second floors of the building.

Background

The Holyrood Brewery was closed by its owners Scottish & Newcastle in the late 1980s and the site re-developed in the mid-1990s. Demolition of the old brewery buildings commenced before the devolution referendum and the announcement that the Scottish Parliament would be built nearby.

The re-location from 5 Queen Street to the Tun building was announced in 1999.

In March 2002, the BBC moved 50 staff from its former Edinburgh studios at 5 Queen Street to a new home beside the Scottish Parliament complex at Holyrood.

The move in March 2002 saw 50 staff transfer from the former studios at 5 Queen Street. Some 26 staff from the education and religion departments were relocated to Glasgow or worked from home. The radio drama studio was been temporarily relocated to facilities in Pencaitland in East Lothian.

Criticism

In 1999, John McCormick, BBC Scotland’s controller, said the new base would offer "an improved BBC presence" which would also "provide the flexible, creative workspace required to meet our future broadcasting needs".

However, the space originally leased at The Tun occupied just 9,500 sq ft, compared with 24,700 sq ft at the former premises in Queen Street. Despite repeated warnings from staff unions that the space would be insufficient, the BBC was forced to concede a few months after moving in that the premises were too small. A report in the Scotsman newspaper suggested that staff have had to fight for desk space, there were insufficient meeting areas and no canteen, and the lack of parking spaces had forced visiting television crews to park on the street. The BBC negotiated with the owners of The Tun to lease a further 730 sq ft of space on the fourth floor of the building.[1]

Others believed the new building was an insult to the prestige of Edinburgh. A letter which appeared in the Scotsman suggested the BBC's presence in Edinburgh had been reduced to a "glorified newsroom in rented premises in Holyrood Road".[2]

References

  1. 'BBC chiefs tackle lack of space at new studios', Scotsman, 20 July 2002.
  2. 'BBC too silent', Scotsman, 29 May 2002.