BBC sells television centre for £200 million
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
A file picture taken on October 6, 2011, shows the BBC Television Centre offices in west London. AFP photoThe BBC said Monday it had sold its iconic Television Centre building for £200 million to a property developer as part of cost-cutting measures by the world's largest public broadcaster.
The British Broadcasting Corporation said in a statement that it had "exchanged contracts" with Stanhope Plc on Saturday for the 14-acre (5.6-hectare) site in west London.
The BBC put the 52-year-old Television Centre on sale in June 2011 after Britain's coalition government imposed a funding freeze as part of austerity measures aimed at cutting a record deficit.
"The BBC has exchanged contracts for the sale of Television Centre in West London to property developers Stanhope Plc for a total price in the order of £200 million (254 million euros, $311 million)" it said.
The BBC has operated on the site, where most of the broadcaster's national television and radio news used to be housed, since it was officially opened in 1960.
The main circular building, known to staff as the doughnut, was given "listed" heritage status in 2009, meaning that it cannot be demolished, extended or altered without special permission from the local authority.
Shows recorded at its studios include science fiction classic "Doctor Who" and comedy shows "Fawlty Towers" and "Monty Python's Flying Circus".