Wednesday, 10 June 2015

BBC Says Farewell to Shepherd's Bush

BBC White City - no longer. Photo: Wikipedia
The BBC is leaving the Bush.  In 2013 the BBC vacated their historic home at TV Centre on Wood Lane, and now they have announced the sale of their Media Village site. The latter is the big shiny office block (see photo above) located at the north end of Wood Lane, right next to The Westway. The building is to be re-branded White City Place, and will become a brand new "commercial hub", that is to say a collection of offices and - you guessed it - luxury flats.

TV Centre - closed in 2013 and now being redeveloped by Stanhope. Photo: Wikipedia
Apparently it's all part of a master plan to "reduce the size and cost of BBC buildings" and make "£33 million of annual running cost savings". The media village site has been acquired by Stanhope, the same outfit that are redeveloping TV Centre, which obviously makes a good deal of sense for them, since they can develop the whole site to a single master plan. You can see some details (but not much) of their plans at their new website.

Not that the BBC are leaving us entirely.  TV Centre will still retain a few BBC studios and offices. But their continued presence will be a pale shadow of what it used to be, when iconic series like "Monty Python's Flying Circus" were filmed in our neighbourhood.

So a long chapter in the history of Shepherd's Bush closes. But even as the BBC leaves, we will get lots of new office space, and no doubt lots of new high tech media companies. Stanhope describes the new White City Place as "London’s most exciting mixed-use quarter".

The sad truth is that the north end of Wood lane is a fairly depressing place, full of faceless car parks, multi-lane flyovers, ring roads and concrete office buildings. At this point, pretty much any change is probably for the good. But if you want to see what it used to look like, when the Great White City (long since demolished) was first built, take a peek at the early 20th century postcard below.

What a shame we can't build like that anymore.


The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. Read about the Campaign to Save Hammersmith Park, find out about our new Farmer's Market, see what's on at The Bush Theatre, find out the latest news on the future of Shepherd's Bush Market, and the Council's plans to upgrade the Goldhawk Road and the Uxbridge Road. If you would like to contribute a story about our neighbourhood, email us at

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