BBC to Stay in Television Centre after Sale
Corporation "will maintain links with centre well into the future"
BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane, one of the most iconic buildings in Shepherd's Bush, has been sold to a consortium of development company Stanhope, Japanese property group Mitsui Fudosan UK and Canadian pension fund, Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo).
The consortium paid £200 million for a long leasehold on the site.
The sale appears to be a win-win deal for the BBC, which still owns the freehold, and will benefit from a share in future profits.
Parts of Television Centre, which opened in 1960, including the doughnut-shaped central block and Studio One, home to Strictly Come Dancing, have been awarded grade II listed status and will be retained
The BBC will now work with Stanhope- whose other projects have included Chiswick Park and Tate Modern - to develop the rest of the site and will maintain a presence there by renting space in the building from 2014.
The space is to be used as a "creative hub" housing BBC Studios, BBC Worldwide and Post Production facilities, alongside leisure, office and residential accommodation.
The BBC's chief operating officer, Caroline Thomson, said in an email to staff on Friday that the deal had been structured so that the corporation will "maintain links with Television Centre well into the future".
"We all felt that it was important that we retained a link to a building that has played such an important part in our history and has felt like a home from home for so many of us over the years," she said.
Parts of Television Centre, which opened in 1960, including the doughnut-shaped central block and Studio One, home to Strictly Come Dancing, have been awarded grade II listed status and will be retained.
The sale follows a year long selection process. 240 expressions of interest were whittled down to six short-list bids whch were tested against the BBC's three key objectives - maximising the value of the site for Licence Fee payers; protecting the legacy of this iconic building; and choosing a buyer that could deliver.
The BBC says it is part of long-term plans to reduce the size of its property portfolio by 30%. The proceeds from the sale, together with the end of running costs for the site will contribute towards the BBC's target of achieving annual savings in property expenditure of £47million per annum by 2016/17.
BBC Worldwide will move from its current base in the W12 Media Village, further up Wood Lane, to become anchor tenants on the site and will be located at the front of the building overlooking Wood Lane. BBC Worldwide is in the process of appointing its architects.
Caroline Thomson who oversaw the sale says: " "This is an exciting deal both for the BBC and for London. Working with Stanhope, we will build a new creative hub in west London. It marks a critical step in the transformation of the BBC's property portfolio and the delivery of great value to Licence Fee payers.
"Stanhope has considerable experience in completing high profile UK development projects and we are looking forward to working in partnership with them on the future of Television Centre."
David Camp, Chief Executive of Stanhope Plc, says: "We are looking forward to working with the BBC to deliver a vibrant mixed use scheme for the Television Centre site. We will preserve and enhance the much loved iconic buildings surrounding the forecourt for workspace, hotel and residential uses.
" Over the past year a great spirit of partnership has developed between the BBC, Stanhope and our partners, Mitsui Fudosan and AIMCo. This gives us great confidence that we will achieve our joint objective of building upon the site's history and legacy to evolve an exciting future for Television Centre which we can all be proud of."
July 23, 2012