Finally confirming plans first announced in 2007, the BBC has opted to sell BBC Television Centre, the iconic heart of BBC broadcasting since the 1960s.
Over the years the building – recognisable by its famous doughnut shape – has been used for recording legendary British shows including Doctor Who and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Holding over 5,000 staff at the five core buildings in White City, London, the centre is likely to be vacated by 2015 when relocation to Wales and Manchester of various BBC programming and services as well as other locations around the south east of England are likely to be completed.
The BBC have already invited parties to register their interest by July 1, with the corporation creating a list of potential purchasers and joint-venture partners with which to move forward.
“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,”
said Head of BBC Workplace Chris Kane. The buildings are currently owned by and run by a BBC subsidiary, Studios & Post Production, although the future of this business is not yet known. The complex, which covers a 14 acre site, is expected to raise between £150 million and £300 million for the BBC, which generates the bulk of its annual budget of £3.5 via the £145.50 licence fee.
So, the end of not only a major aspect of classic Doctor Who, but of British popular culture. A sad day.
(Via Channel 4 News)