New Owner for BBC Worldwide Building

Site is sold for £28million

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The building which formerly housed BBC Worldwide Ltd. has a new owner.

Imperial College London has announced that it purchased the site at 80 Wood Lane on 1 September for £28million.

Over 1,000 BBC employees occupied the building complex until around nine months ago. Imperial says it is currently setting up a project board to decide how to best make use of the seven acre site, which comprises office facilities, a sports centre, a crèche, dining facilities and car parking for 200 cars.

Imperial's Chief Operating Officer, Dr Martin Knight, said that acquiring the new building would allow the college to “create new teaching, research and administration facilities to develop our activities further, both on the new site and by reusing space released on other campuses.

“At a time when there is significant and growing demand for the education that Imperial offers, it will allow us to build quality, tailored accommodation for students, particularly to meet the significant rising need among postgraduate students. Currently we provide only 330 College bed spaces for a community of 4,500 postgraduates. It will offer modern facilities close to our Hammersmith Campus, in addition to those already available to staff and students,” he added.

He also said it would give the college an opportunity to explore collaborative work with the BBC, particularly with their research and development group, which concentrates on emerging technologies.

Justifying the purchase at a time of budget cuts, a statement from the College says: “The College is continually considering its requirements for space in line with its academic mission. Thanks to the College’s success, our activities have expanded, and our west London campuses have as a result become increasingly congested. Further development of our academic activities means we require room to expand, and the chance to acquire over seven acres of freehold land and 25,000 sq metres of buildings in such a location in west London, close to our existing campuses (particularly Hammersmith and only three Tube stops from St Mary’s), was a rare opportunity that was too promising to miss.”

The college, which is part of the University of London, says it is unlikely that any activities will be permanently based at the Wood Lane site before 2011.

September 3, 2009


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