BBC strikes £87m Media Village deal

Media Village BBC staff will continue to work in the Broadcast Centre, but not Media Centre

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The BBC is to collect £87m from a deal with developers for Media Village in White City.

It has sold the four acres of land at the entrance to the Wood Lane site to Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosan UK, who will take over the leases for all six buildings.

The BBC will remain as tenants in the Broadcast Centre, Energy Centre and Lighthouse, but will vacate White City, Media Centre and Garden House.

The deal is set to save the BBC £33m a year in running costs - part of an ongoing drive to save more than £75m a year in property costs by 2017.

There are now 154 BBC properties - down from 213 in 1999.

'The BBC is determined to work out of the minimum number of buildings possible whilst still representing the audience it serves,' said Anne Bulford, managing director of finance and operation.

'Today's announcement is an excellent deal for licence fee payers.'

Unsettling for staff

But it hasn't been so good for the staff who have been moved from building to building as the Corporation readied the site for sale or sublet.

The Media Village exit began in 2013, when departments left the White City building. More recently, the Media Centre has been all but emptied - with BBC Worldwide moving down the street to the refurbished Television Centre earlier this year.

Some former occupants were relocated to buildings in London, while others have found a temporary home in Garden House before their roles move to Salford, Birmingham and Caversham later this year.

Bulford accepted that this unsettling period had been 'very difficult' for employees.

'We appreciate the professional way in which those affected have responded,' she said.

The new deal will see Stanhope extend its redevelopment plans for Wood Lane. It is already carrying out significant work on the Television Centre site it bought from the BBC for £200m in 2012, which will see it reimagined as offices, homes, restaurants, Soho House and BBC studios.

Its latest project - to be named White City Place - will help make White City 'the place to be', believed Stanhope chief executive David Camp.

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