Monday, 16 July 2012

BBC Television Centre sold

Television Centre, the BBC's television hub, the iconic asbestos-ridden 1960s building, which was the home of all BBC television for so long has been sold to a developer for £200 million - just £3 million less than the annual wage bill for their star performers. Contracts were exchanged on Saturday. In theory the building is Grade II listed and cannot be modified; however it seems likely that the buyer will try to get around that.

Television production has been migrating to "Manchester" over the last few years. "Manchester" because in fact the new site is Salford Quays which is a piece of scrub land on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal.

The Site has been developed by a company called Peel Group which has built the studio space. The studios are now operated by Peel Media. Peel Group has also built several blocks of luxury apartments to house the incoming television workers. These apartments are available to rent or buy from Peel Property; parking spaces cost extra; and once ensconced the TV worker will be paying a ground rent to Peel Group and buying his/her electricity and water from Peel Power.

Peel Group is majority owned by an individual called John Whittaker. Persuading the government that the Beeb should move north to a patch of land he owns has been a real coup for him. Henceforth, by direct and indirect means a substantial fraction of your license fee will be landing in his pocket.

No comments: