BBC puts Television Centre up for sale
Monday, June 13 2011, 11:06 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,
The BBC has today announced the first phase in its sale of Television Centre, the corporation's iconic headquarters in West London.
Commercial property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) are working with the BBC to secure expressions of interest from the market for TVC in White City.
Options being considered include "either a conventional, freehold property sale or alternative proposals possibly based around a joint venture partnership".
The BBC said that the "key objective" for any sale or partnership is to "maximise the value of the site to the BBC and licence fee payers".
Established in 1960, TVC on Wood Lane became a figurehead for the BBC operation, hosting various hit shows such as Doctor Who and Blue Peter.
The decision to offload the 14-acre site was first announced in 2007, with LSH appointed in November 2010 following a competitive tender process.
Apart from a conventional sale, the BBC is also keen to explore options for redeveloping TVC as a "hub for creative businesses". It particularly wants to preserve the site's key listed elements, including Studio One and the central ring, known as the 'concrete doughnut'.
Chris Kane, the head of BBC Workplace, said: "Our key objective is to maximise value to the BBC. 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."
Richard Deverell, who recently took charge of the BBC's W12 property programme, added: "Television Centre has played an extraordinary and central role in the history of the BBC, which will not be forgotten.
"Our primary aim of the sale is to maximise the value to the BBC and licence fee payer whilst ensuring the teams and operations based there are successfully relocated."
The BBC plans to fully vacate TVC by 2015 and interested parties must submit expressions of interest by July 1 this year. The corporation will then compile a shortlist of potential purchasers or joint venture partners, who will be invited to tender.
At the end of 2010, there were just over 5,000 employees at TVC. But once the planned moves to MediaCityUK in Salford and the redeveloped Broadcasting House in London have been completed, there will only be around 1,200 staff needing relocation.