THE BBC has spoken out on rumoured plans to move the entire EastEnders set and sell Elstree studios.

The Corporation has responded to the rumours which began after Broadcast reported that real estate consultant Lambert Smith Hampton had surveyed the site, but is yet to complete a sales process.

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EastEnders uses six of the seven studios at Elstree and would require a long-term lease to allow BBC Studios to continue making the soap.

However, a spokesperson for EastEnders has tried to dampen fears that any sale would impact the soap, which is currently having its set rebuilt at Elstree at a cost of £87 million.

The BBC told Metro: "There is always speculation about BBC property and whether there are future plans. If we had something to announce, then we would do so.

"While we always keep our property portfolio under review, the BBC has not made a decision to sell the site.

"We have of course made long term commitments for its continued use."

EastEnders new set at Elstree is reportedly nearing completion but is two years behind schedule, with costs increasing fro £60 million to £87 million.

However, it was announced earlier this year that medical drama Holby City was being axed and a new drama would be filmed and produced in either Northern England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.

The Corporation said in a statement at the time: "We are incredibly proud of Holby City but it’s with great sadness that we are announcing that after 23 years, the show will end on screen in March of next year. 

"We sometimes have to make difficult decisions to make room for new opportunities and as part of the BBC’s commitment to make more programmes across the UK, we have taken the difficult decision to bring the show to a close in order to reshape the BBC’s drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country."

EastEnders has been filmed at Elstree, which is located in Borehamwood, north London, since the show began in 1985.

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