Sunday, 30 May 2010

Bush to become "creative quarter" of UK

Big news for the Bush: we are set to become the "Creative Quarter" of the UK courtesy of some multi million pound redevelopment plans being drawn up by the BBC and released to the media this week. The image is one that is being used to illustrate what the new White City site might look like after all this work is completed - but you have to wonder whether half the illuminations at least will actually come from the "retail quarter" that is Westfield.

The driver for this next major evolution in the charecter of Shepherd's Bush is the BBC's need to sell off its buildings on Wood Lane. Many staff are being shunted off up to Salford, and like many of you who live locally I know plenty of ex and existing BBC staff who are none too pleased about that. Morale seems to sink lower every time I talk to them.

But not everyone will be making the journey north and those left are set to include the creative hub of the corporation, who is making plans for what the new site will look like. We're promised a 23 acre creative and cultural quarter, unique in the world.

Speaking to the Guardian the BBC property chief, Chris Kane, said negotiations were in very early stages.

"It was a difficult decision to say we would leave Television Centre but the BBC has a long-term future in W12," he said.

"The thinking was we couldn't just sell this and leave it to the vagaries of the property market. My worst fear is that it would be sold and end up like Battersea Power Station. It has to be something different.

"It's about regeneration, where the BBC is the catalyst to drive a new creative quarter, not just for London but for the whole creative industry for the UK. The BBC wants to do something, working with public and private world-class partners. It's about land and brand and will put the UK creative industry on the world stage."

The BBC will itself remain in two main buildings, the Media Centre and the White City Building, which are both off the main road just up from the tube. I've been interviewed a few times in the White City Building which is itself fairly cutting edge and the surrounding media villlage is the sort of thing they want to recreate for the whole site.
So what will it mean for the Bush? In the short term lots of building work which, for the long suffering residents who live next to Westfield must sound like a vision of hell. In the longer term however it means more creative jobs locally and for our area to remain the centre of British broadcasting excellence - and that can't be a bad thing.
How many other areas of our city can claim to be receiving this sort of investment? You can keep the Olympics, east London.


  1. If it works then fantastic. If not, all the BBC will have created with the bizarre move opnorf will be unemployment.

  2. Long suffering resident - that would be me then!. Viv here, neighbour of Westfield (and the stinking Burger King they installed), fake blue badge spotter extraoridinaire and probably most irritated person in Shepherds Bush. My front door is only 10metres from BBC property. Some nice plane trees opposite give some privacy and semblance of a nice place to be. I have tried to get tree preservation orders on these trees with a view to the impending redevelopment of the BBC car park
    , which seems likely.
    This site of yours is great for news, so thanks to you Chris. The council's automated notification of planning and premises applications does not seem to work, as Vue is operating well out of the allocated hours stipulated at the hearing by the indomitable Ms Brocklebank Fowler, but I have not had any notification about extended hours. Late night parking is definitely on the increase as the films become later, and when the cinema in W12 centre closes which it surely must, this will become even worse. The coucil has yet to prove itself regarding resident around Westfield.

  3. Thanks both, agree with the comments. Vivienne I will follow up re Vue, if that's true it's a joke!

  4. I suspect redevelopment of the BBC Site will be part and parcel of the tory counciil’s other grand plans for the White City area. The BBC’s lofty ideas will not count for much as they will seek maximum return on their asset. Look forward to another unaffordable housing , office/shopping development to match plans for West Ken - Earls Court/Queen Caroline and Ashcroft Square. Social Engineering beyond what Lady Porter thought a dream in Westminster......Iain Muir

  5. Apparently Bernie & QPR are considering buying TV Centre with a view to creating a new purpose built stadium for The Hoops to play at...