BBC Television Centre is finally on the market.
The sale which was first announced in 2007 is estimated to raise hundreds of millions of pounds for the broadcaster. The organisation has expressed interest in both a conventional sale and joint redevelopment offers. A conventional sale would be easier and faster to finalise, but the organisation is keen to retain some presence at the West London site, through a joint venture with another organisation.
For the BBC, putting the £300m building up for sale has the potential to both raise and save huge amounts of money for future investments. They anticipate much interest from many keen buyers. Chris Kane, of BBC Workplace said:
“With high investor demand for commercial property in London and a shortage of landmark sites as distinctive as Television Centre, we anticipate strong competition for both conventional and innovative proposals.”
First opened in 1960, the building has a unique ‘doughnut’ shape to it. The site is 14 acres and can house 5,000 staff.
The site is expected to be cleared of BBC staff by 2015. BBC News is set to move into Central London in 2012, while BBC Sport and Breakfast are moving to BBC North HQ in Salford.
Famous shows recorded in Television Centre include Fawlty Towers, Blue Peter and Strictly Come Dancing.
W12 programme director Richard Deverell, recalled Television Centre’s unique history: “Television Centre has played an extraordinary and central role in the history of the BBC, which will not be forgotten.”
Last spring, the BBC revealed plans for redevelopment of the site, which would provide West London with a 23-acre “creative quarter”.
Under this scheme Television Centre would be sold to developers, but the BBC would rent back some studios to continue making programmes. The older parts of the centre would be demolished, with buildings constructed in the space to house new media organisations.