Losing an icon of British creativity would have been a real shame. It’s great to see Television Centre (TVC) re-emerge after its intermission of two years. Attending the recent grand opening ceremony I couldn’t have imagined things would have worked out so well. The whole place was buzzing. It reminded me of the closing event in 2013 when Suggs and Madness played at what was called a farwell gig. Many creative people, understandably, felt pretty emotional at the time as they feared that 50+ years of legacy would be lost . Well I for one don’t think they had anything to worry about. Especially with TVC now home to both the Jonathan Ross and the Graham Norton shows.
In 2010 the BBC took the brave decision to sell Television Centre. Many accused it of selling the family silver. However by applying a creative approach, we found a smart value solution, to the conundrum of maximising sales value, protecting the legacy and keeping a roof over BBC Studios . Thankfully the BBC also found a great partner in Stanhope who could make the vision a reality.
There was some degree of scepticism back then that such an unconventional approach would work. Looking at the reborn Television Centre today it is home to great shows, the BBC presence remains and it has become a place where people can truly live, work and play.
TVC and indeed the wider White City (London W12) area is a great example of people truly partnering around a set of common aims to create and deliver to a inspiring vision. Could it be one of the few cases of place making where there is a win-win for all stakeholders?