EastEnders set revamp goes £27m over budget

The Queen Vic

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The Queen Vic pub is the centrepiece of the EastEnders set

The BBC undertaking to interchange and extend the exterior set of EastEnders will now value £27m greater than in the beginning deliberate.

The unique 2015 forecast for the E20 scheme was once £59.7m, however the revised finances is now £86.7m.

A Nationwide Audit Workplace (NAO) document concluded that “the BBC won’t be able to ship price for cash… in the way in which that it envisaged in 2015.”

The BBC mentioned the undertaking was once “massive” and “complicated”, including that there have been “demanding situations at the approach”.

The unique of entirety date was once driven again from October 2020 to Would possibly 2023.

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The unique set was once best meant for use for 2 years

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO which scrutinises public spending for Parliament, mentioned: “Regardless of fresh undertaking control enhancements, E20 is past due and over finances.

“We imagine that the deliberate advantages are nonetheless extensively achievable, however given the top possibility nature of E20 it’s going to want shut scrutiny till it is completed.”

The NAO mentioned that “one of the causes for the delays and value will increase may have been addressed previous by way of the BBC”.

It took purpose on the early drafting board of the undertaking, which “resulted within the BBC underestimating sides of complexity, value and dangers of its method”.

The unique exterior EastEnders set on the BBC’s Elstree Centre in Hertfordshire – which contains Albert Sq. – dates again to the cleaning soap’s starting in 1984.

It was once best meant for use for 2 years however has lasted for 34.

Enhancements made

“The display stays one of the most BBC’s flagship programmes and but is filming from a collection this is now not are compatible for goal,” the BBC mentioned in a remark.

“The brand new set will likely be appropriate for HD filming for the primary time and prolong Walford to higher mirror trendy East Finish London.

“It is a massive, complicated undertaking which has already delivered many different important enhancements at BBC Elstree Centre however like all construction paintings of this scale there were demanding situations at the approach, together with development marketplace problems past our regulate and from running on a brownfield web site.

“Because the NAO recognises we have now already made enhancements and are conserving the undertaking beneath shut scrutiny.”

The NAO said that the BBC had confronted problems equivalent to asbestos and obstructions within the floor which might no longer had been foreseen when the undertaking was once first deliberate.

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The funeral of Peggy Mitchell was once a large Walford match

Inflation had additionally risen upper than anticipated within the development trade – even though the NAO mentioned inflation “had a better affect than it will have achieved had the programme been finished with none delays”.

The NAO mentioned that the BBC “had made many enhancements to the programme” within the remaining 18 months.

The so-called “entrance lot”, which is the alternative for the prevailing set, will likely be completed by way of 2021 – however the “again lot”, which is able to come with new Walford out of doors places, will take the undertaking as much as the brand new Would possibly 2023 forecast.

The entrance lot is being rebuilt the use of actual brick constructions reasonably than facades, as is the case now.

E20 can even come with new edit suites, boilers and electrics.

This isn’t the primary time E20 has had scheduling issues. In October 2017, the unique August 2018 of entirety date was once put again to October 2020.

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