BBC sells White City site for £87m to Stanhope and Japanese firm Mitsui Fudosan

 
Joe Hall
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White City One is being vacated by the BBC (Source: Getty)

The BBC has announced the sale and sublet of its Media Village site in an £87m deal with Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosan.

Read more: BBC offers James May and Richard Hammond £1m to stay

Following an 18-month negotiating process, four acres of freehold land will be sold and six buildings in White City leased as part of the deal. The BBC says it will make £33m in savings as it moves into a smaller estate in a bid to reduce the size and cost of its buildings.

The BBC's managing director of finance and operations Anne Bulford said the deal was "excellent for licence fee payers", allowing it to pour more money into programming.

She explained:

We will now save £75m a year from prudent property management, meaning even more of the licence fee will go on what matters most to our audience - the programmes they love.

Developer Stanhope and Japanese firm Mitsui Fudosan will refurbish and regenerate part of the complex, which will be brought back to the market in 2016 under the name White City Place. Both firms were part of a consortium that bought the BBC's Television Centre for £200m in 2012.

The project marks the largest-ever city development in London by a Japanese company.


Aerial view of White City Place (Source: Mitsui Fudosan)

Hideto Yamada, managing director of the Mitsui Fudosan UK business, said the area will see a "significant and exciting amount of development come to fruition over the coming years, ensuring a full transformation of the area. White City Place will be designed to appeal to young and growing businesses and retailers, creating a fresh and vibrant business destination in west London".

The £87m deal represents the latest step in the BBC's move away from West London. Since 1998, the corporation has reduced its property footprint by around 40 per cent as it attempts to increase efficiency.

By 2017 it hopes to make total savings of £1.5bn a year.

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