The true cost of moving BBC operations away from the Mailbox could amount to more than 43,000 licence fees, the Birmingham Post can reveal.
Huge redundancy costs of a month’s salary for every year of service mean that some of those losing jobs could get more than £100,000.
The BBC has suggested that the cost of the move will be £4.5 million, or 30,777 licence fees, in response to a Freedom of Information request.
But according to some estimates from corporation insiders the final bill could come to at least £6.3 million – or 43,000 licence fees.
The move has sparked fury from politicians, business leaders and workers in the city who have described it as “needless”.
Almost 150 people are at risk of redundancy at the corporation’s Birmingham base after the decision to merge factual work with Bristol.
Programmes such as the Hairy Bikers and Countryfile and coverage of RHS flower shows will move from BBC Birmingham’s base at The Mailbox from August.
A corporation insider told the Post a more realistic estimate of the cost is nearly £2 million more expensive, at around £6.3 million or 43,000 licence fees.
The BBC figures show that 100 people are at risk of redundancy in television – 58 staff have been offered places in Bristol – so at least 42 will be made redundant.
The corporation said average redundancy costs in “Vision” would be around £38,000 per person and home owners would be offered £23,000 to relocate and “significantly less” for people renting.
In radio, 36 people are at risk of redundancy – 22 have been offered the chance to relocate – therefore at least 14 people will lose their jobs.
Average redundancies per head in “Audio and Music” will be around £58,000, with relocation payouts of £23,000.
The BBC assumes the cost of dual running – running teams in Birmingham and Bristol – for two months to be £230,000.
The BBC insider told the Post the projected costs were “ludicrously low.”
The source said: “Given the length of service of many of the staff in Birmingham, and the fact that it’s the long serving people who are most likely to take redundancy, the figure of £38,000 per person for an average estimate in Vision is hopelessly low.
“There are maybe 10 people who are in line for £80,000 to £100,000. BBC redundancy pay is a month for every year.
“They have also given the relocation figure as £23,000 which is wrong because if people take their whole allowance it will be £31,000 each.
“Of course, none of these numbers include the costs of upgrading White Ladies Road in Bristol to accommodate the new staff, nor the costs of either mothballing the Mailbox, paying off the rent early or moving other staff in.
“The cost given of ‘double running’ is optimistic.