Only two members of staff have applied for the BBC's relocation package to move from London to Salford.
The package, revealed six months ago, would use up to £16.5m of licence payers’ money to encourage staff in 1,500 London-based posts to move north.
At the crux of the BBC’s relocation offer to staff is a guaranteed house purchase scheme. It will see relocation solutions company Cartus buy the home on behalf of the BBC and advance funds to the employee to move.
When the properties bought are put on the market, the BBC will be obligated to make up any shortfall it receives on a property against the guaranteed purchase price it has agreed with its owner. As yet, no houses have been bought or sold under the scheme.
Falling house prices have been reasoned for the deal seeming unattractive to staff, while the scheme itself has been criticised at a time when the BBC is facing a £2m funding gap.
The BBC plans to move five London-based departments – including children’s, Radio 5 Live and sports – to Salford’s Mediacity in 2011.