The BBC today announced the first phase in the sale of Television Centre in White City, as it invited to bidders to come forward with a conventional sale offer or proposals for a joint venture.
The BBC first announced plans to sell the 14-acre site in 2007 and said it planned to leave the building – home to BBC News – by 2015.
The announcement appeared to confirm a report in The Guardian earlier this month claiming the corporation was backtracking on plans unveiled last year to redevelop Television Centre into 23-acre creative quarter, as part of wider regeneration plans for the White City area.
That plan would see the BBC sell Television Centre, which opened in 1960, to developers but rent back some of the studios and continue making programmes there, while the some of the remaining space would be offered to independent TV production companies and other media outlets.
But today the BBC said it would also consider offers for a conventional property sale.
At the end of 2010 more than 5,000 staff were based at Television Centre, but that figure will be less than 1,200 when moves to the BBC’s Media City in Salford and Broadcasting House are completed.
Head of BBC workplace Chris Kane 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.”
W12 Programme Director Richard Deverell added: “Television Centre has played an extraordinary and central role in the history of the BBC, which will not be forgotten.”