The BBC is to sell off around 18 studios as it continues to slim down its operations.

After a review of its commercial arm, the BBC said it would look to sell its BBC Resources division, a unit that comprises its production and post-production operations as well as around 18 studios - including Elstree, where soap opera EastEnders is filmed.

BBC Resources had sales of about£125m last year, 80% of which is derived internally, and has already attracted interest from potential trade and private equity buyers. The profitable and cash-generative division could fetch up to £150m.

The BBC hopes to complete the sale by March next year and has set a bid deadline of 7 September. It is looking to transfer 1,300 BBC Resources staff to the new owners as part of the deal.