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E20: renewing the EastEnders set

EastEnders is a flagship programme for the BBC, which appeals to a broad range of audiences. The BBC is currently carrying out a project, known as ‘E20’, to replace and enlarge the EastEnders set and associated infrastructure at BBC Elstree. The existing set was built in 1985. It is being replaced because film technology has advanced beyond the set’s capability and to enhance health and safety. The BBC also plans to enlarge the set to provide new locations.


This study will build on work in our 2016 report, Management of the BBC’s critical projects, which found that, in 2014, the BBC had made changes to the original scope of E20, and reported that the project was due to be completed in October 2020, 26 months later than originally planned. We will examine whether the BBC has managed the E20 project in a way that is likely to achieve value for money, including:


  • whether the project was set up in a way that maximised the chances of success;
  • if the project is on track to achieve its intended benefits, within the timescales and budget expected;
  • whether the BBC’s project governance manages risks, changes and variations effectively; and
  • if the BBC has the right resources and capability to deliver the project successfully.