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woensdag 6 februari 2013

BBC TV Centre to feature hotel, cinema, flats and offices

BBC Television Centre is to be redeveloped with a hotel, flats, a cinema and offices by its new owner, although the BBC will still use parts of the West London complex.

Property developer Stanhope and the BBC today jointly unveiled plans to redevelop Television Centre into a mixed-use facility, including the famous forecourt being open to the public for the first time.

The Grade II listed main circular building, known as "the doughnut", will be transformed into a hotel and apartments. It will be remodelled but the forecourt and famous frontage of Television Centre on Wood Lane will be retained

BBC Studio 1 will be re-fitted, along with Studio 2 and 3. The BBC will still use parts of the site, while commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, will take offices there.

Stanhope plc chief executive David Camp said in a statement: "The BBC will continue to have a significant presence at Television Centre and we will be bringing new life into the site with new public routes, spaces and uses.

"We will be introducing a vibrant and exciting mix of new retail, leisure, office and residential uses whilst keeping and enhancing the famous original BBC buildings and retaining key operational BBC studio and office facilities on site. Television Centre will be a great place to live, work and visit."

Under the plans, the current 'Stage 4 and 5' buildings at Television Centre will be refurbished to provide office space, targeted at new media or creative businesses in the area.

The 'Drama Block', 'Restaurant Block' and Multi Storey Car Park on Wood Lane will be replaced by residential buildings and townhouses.

The East Tower will be replaced "with a more slender and appropriately positioned residential building".

There will be approximately 1,000 new residential units and townhouses in total at the 14-acre site, including a 'Village Green' of town houses for families with private rear gardens, and affordable housing.

Also at the redeveloped site will be a cinema, health club, restaurants and cafes.

Television Centre was built for the BBC on the former site of the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition. The West London site, which looks like a question mark from the air, officially opened in June 1960 and was designed by the architects Norman and Dawbarn.

Programmes recorded at Television Centre include Monty Python's Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, Blue Peter, Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who.

But the BBC sold the site to Stanhope plc in July 2012 for a sum in the region of £200 million, as it looked to cut costs and shift operations to the refurbished Broadcasting House in central London and BBC North in Salford.

Stanhope has hired RIBA award-winning practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris as lead architects on the redevelopment project, supported by Macreanor Lavington and Duggan Morris.

The BBC and Stanhope hope that building work can start at the site in 2015.