The BBC today announced the first phase in the sale of Television Centre, White City, London. Working with commercial property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), the BBC is seeking expressions of interest from the market for either a conventional, freehold property sale or alternative proposals possibly based around a joint venture partnership. The key objective for any sale or partnership is to maximise the value of the site to the BBC and Licence Fee payers.
The BBC originally announced its intention to sell Television Centre in 2007. LSH were appointed in November 2010 following a competitive tender to help finalise the strategy to market the 14-acre freehold site.
Apart from a conventional sale, the Corporation is keen to investigate opportunities for redeveloping Television Centre that preserve the key listed elements of the iconic building, but also afford the opportunity to establish a hub for creative businesses and a visitor destination.
The existing Studios and Post Production business will continue to operate following the sale of Television Centre, either remaining on site or in a new location.
Chris Kane, Head of BBC Workplace, commented: “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.”
The BBC’s strategy for Television Centre supports the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) master plan to redevelop White City, as set out in the draft Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) currently in consultation.
Richard Deverell, W12 Programme Director, commented: “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 the site in 2015. As a first step, interested parties are invited to register their interest by 1 July 2011. It is the intention of the BBC to arrive at a short list of potential purchasers or joint venture partners; thereafter, selected parties will be formally invited to tender.