Friday, December 5, 2014


Property Week says the BBC is moving closer to a deal to flog off its White City interests. White City 1 is mothballed; BBC Worldwide are set to move to Television Centre in a year or so, and the remaining staff in the Media and Broadcast Centre are earmarked for dispersal around the country, moves to NewCo, or the exit door, by 2017.

It won't make the BBC rich, but it will reduce costs - by £67m a year. In capital terms, it looks like a fire sale - the BBC bought the White City site in the mid-80s for £26m, and paid more (£320m) to buy back the freehold in 2005, thus funding more building through a joint venture and bond sales. Any buyer will have to pick up rental costs through to 2035.

The campus feels cold and unloved; old Children in Need posters flutter from lamp-posts, grass is growing up through car park tarmac, and the white buses offering escape to W1 idle ominously outside the grim Phase 1 building. A new owner might cheer things up along Wood Lane.

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