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BBC Television Centre sold for £200m, plans unveiled

BBC Television Centre sold for £200m, plans unveiled
Staff Reporter
20 July 2012

The BBC has confirmed that Television Centre has been sold to a consortium of Stanhope, Mitsui Fudosan UK and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) for £200m.

The sale is part of long-term plans to reduce the size of the BBC’s property portfolio by 30 per cent. The proceeds from the sale, together with the end of running costs for the site will contribute towards the BBC’s target of achieving annual savings in property expenditure of £47m pa by 2016/17.

The sale follows a year-long selection process. 240 expressions of interest were whittled down to six shortlisted bids which were tested against the BBC’s three key objectives - maximising the value of the site for licence fee payers; protecting the legacy of the iconic building and choosing a buyer that could deliver.

Stanhope has bought the site for guaranteed consideration of £200m. The BBC will also benefit from future overage payments.

Stanhope’s funding partners in the transaction are Mitsui Fudosan and the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), who are both well-funded and experienced development partners.

Stanhope has acquired a long leasehold interest in BBC Television Centre. The BBC and Stanhope will work together on the initial planning and development, and the BBC will retain a continued presence at Television Centre.

The BBC public service divisions will be remaining on site until staff  have been relocated and the technology infrastructure has been completed.

The BBC’s commercial arms BBC Studios and Post Production and BBC Worldwide will lease refurbished office and entertainment space in the completed scheme from 2014/15 and will be amongst the first parts to go-live at the re-purposed site.

Following temporary relocation, BBC Studios and Post Production will operate studios for television production, including Studio 1.

BBC Worldwide will move from its current base in the W12 Media Village to become tenants on the site. BBC Worldwide is in the process of appointing its architects.

Wider plans for the site will include a mix of uses (leisure, office, residential) and opening up the site as envisaged in the GLA’s White City Opportunity Area masterplan. Discussions will continue with the planning authorities.

The listed elements of Television Centre will be retained and enhanced, including the recognisable exterior view.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) are the appointed architects for the wider plans. Previous projects have included the Saatchi Gallery, the Barbican Arts Centre and Angel Building.

BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thomson, who oversaw the sale, says, “This marks a critical step in the transformation of the BBC’s property portfolio and the delivery of great value to licence fee payers.”

Clive Hodge, interim ceo for BBC Studios and Post Production added,“we will shortly announce the details of where our studios and post production services will be based until 2015. In the meantime, until we leave TVC next year, it’s very much business as usual for us and our clients using our BBC Television Centre, Elstree and Bristol facilities.

"We'll be returning to the re-developed TVC site with fantastic new facilities in early 2015. In the interim, much of our high-end studios technology at BBC Television Centre will be relocated so clients will continue to enjoy the same high-quality studios and studios support services. Our thriving digital media services team are set to relocate to a dedicated and permanent home in West London around the start of 2013.”

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