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13/10/2005

BBC Scotland Broadcasting House premises and land go on sale

BBC Scotland has announced that its Broadcasting House premises and land at Queen Margaret Drive, Glasgow, is on the market for sale.
The 5.3 acre site has been home to the BBC since 1936.
Ken MacQuarrie, Controller BBC Scotland, said: "This is a significant day in the history of the BBC in Scotland. We all have a fond attachment to Queen Margaret Drive, and the surrounding community, and the building has served us well for almost 70 years. However, the accommodation is no longer fit for the purpose of broadcasting in this digital age.
"Our new purpose-built headquarters at Pacific Quay offer much more opportunity to make better use of space and technical resources.
"Our move will also help BBC Scotland put as much money as possible into programmes by having a much more efficient and effective work place than is currently available at Broadcasting House."
The current Broadcasting House complex is located within the heart of Glasgow's West End and set within an established residential district immediately adjacent to the Botanic Gardens.
The site comprises of a number of adapted and bespoke buildings which are used in the production, administration and broadcasting of BBC Scotland's radio, television and interactive programmes.
Two distinctly individual buildings by two of Glasgow's greatest architects form the centrepiece of BBC Scotland's operation.
The earliest is North Park House, built in 1869 to the design of J.T. Rochead as a country mansion and private gallery for the brothers John and Matthew Bell, who owned the Glasgow Pottery at Port Dundas.
In 1884 the house was acquired by Queen Margaret College, the first college for women in Scotland. In 1895, the College began building Britain's first Women's Medical School on the site, designed by architects Honeyman and Keppie, and an associate, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The College closed in 1935 with students (no longer segregated from their male counterparts) joining other larger centres of learning in the City.
Principle architect James Miller began adapting the Glasgow site for BBC Scotland in 1936 and North Park has since become the main rehearsal and recording space of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
As with much of the West End, the site lies within the Glasgow West Conservation Area, which seeks to protect the general integrity and character of architectural significance in this neighbourhood.
Glasgow's City Plan identifies the Mackintosh Building, Queen Margaret College and Thirties extension as Category B listed.
The BBC's planning consultants have already undertaken a conservation audit of the site and established, with planning officials and Historic Scotland, a framework for the retention and conversion of a number of the listed buildings at the western end of the site.
(GB)
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