The future of the iconic building had been in jeopardy ever since the BBC announced it was selling the Centre as part of its plans to reduce its property holdings by 30%. Television Centre was built towards the end of the Fifties as the BBC's first purpose-built television complex and was where some of the most recognised and respected British television programmes were made. It was the home of Doctor Who throughout the '70s and '80s when every single studio-based story, bar one, was shot at the Centre.
The BBC today completed the sale of the Centre for £200m to Stanhope Plc, a development company based in London and the south-east. The company has over 30 years' experience as developer, development partner and development manager. During this time it has been wholly or jointly responsible for the delivery of commercial projects in excess of £10bn of commercial value. Recent projects include Central Saint Giles, 23 Savile Row and AirW1, as well as headquarter offices for NM Rothschild and Unilever.
Following redevelopment the BBC's commercial arms BBC Studios and Post Production and BBC Worldwide will lease refurbished office and entertainment space in the completed scheme. The listed elements of Television Centre will be retained and enhanced, including the instantly recognisable exterior view, and some studios, including Studio 1, will be available for hire as television production facilities.
The rest of the site will be developed to include a mix of uses including leisure, office and residential. BBC Chief Operating Officer Caroline Thomson, who oversaw the sale, said:
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.David Camp, chief executive of Stanhope Plc, said:
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.