Berkshire

BBC's Caversham Park put up for sale amid cuts

Monitoring
Image caption BBC Monitoring's headquarters have been based in Caversham Park since 1943, but it will now relocate to offices in London

The BBC is selling the Grade II-listed Caversham Park estate in Berkshire in an effort to save money on property costs.

The Victorian stately home is the base for BBC Monitoring, which has lost nearly half of its staff since 2011.

The organisation say the site is "large and ageing" and it makes "no sense to occupy part of the building".

It is being marketed for commercial or residential use. No price is being quoted for the property.

BBC Monitoring summarises news from 150 countries in 100 different languages for the BBC.

The service has been in operation since the start of World War Two and played a key role in analysing communications from Nazi Germany, and in defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Monitoring cut 67 of its Berkshire-based staff in 2011 following a £3m cut in funding and a further 98 jobs were axed in 2016.

Image caption BBC Monitoring began in 1939 as an operation to allow the British government to access foreign media and propaganda during the Second World War

A BBC spokesperson said: "Like any responsible organisation we are constantly reviewing our property portfolio.

"Cutting property costs is a key part of our strategy to provide maximum value for the licence fee."

BBC Monitoring is moving to London and will be closer to other BBC language services, a move the organisation says is "beneficial for longer-term staff development, skill-sharing and training".

BBC Radio Berkshire, who are also based in the building, will stay in the county, with new premises being sought within the Reading area.

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