Options considered as BBC TVC goes on sale

BBC Television Centre (TVC) in west London, home to the UK public service broadcaster's TV studio and audio and video post-production facilities in the capital, has been put up for sale, writes Kevin Hilton.
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BBC Television Centre (TVC) in west London, home to the UK public service broadcaster's TV studio and audio and video post-production facilities in the capital, has been put up for sale, writes Kevin Hilton. The BBC has engaged a firm of property consultants to draw up a shortlist of interested parties with plans for redeveloping the 14-acre site or forming a joint venture. Opened in 1960, TVC was among the first purpose-built broadcast centres in the world. But with the opening of studios at Broadcasting House (W1) in central London and the move of five BBC departments to MediaCityUK in Salford, the distinctive concrete brutalist building will be surplus to the BBC's needs, with plans to fully vacate it by 2015. The core of TVC is the HD TV studios and post facilities operated by BBC Studios and Post Production. These include five dubbing theatres and two track-laying rooms, which feature Pro Tools and Audiofile digital audio workstations and are used for Foley and ADR as well as mixing. According to a BBC statement, the Studios and Post Production operation will continue running after the sale, either "remaining on site or in a new location". The broadcaster first proposed selling TVC in 2007 and a spokeswoman for Studios and Post Production said the division had "been planning for it for sometime". She added, "BBC Studios and Post Production is continuing to explore and evaluate a number of strategic options around accommodation, including staying at Television Centre." Property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton were appointed in November 2010 to finalise the marketing strategy for the freehold property. This caused an outcry on Monday (13th June), with media figures and the public condemning a perceived act of cultural vandalism. Chris Kane, head of BBC Workplace, which runs the broadcaster's buildings, comments, "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." Anyone interested in taking on TVC is asked to register by 1st July. www.lsh.co.uk/bbctelevisioncentre/home.html

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