TV Centre hasn't closed

BBC Television Centre hasn't closed – it's being opened up. The majority of the site was temporarily shut in 2013 – marked by a televised evening of nostalgic tribute and complaints about the loss of what we had. Both have been echoed in many media outlets before and since.

What we had in TV Centre's heyday was a collaborative culture under one roof, producing every kind of TV programme. However that fell apart about twenty years ago with the Producer's Choice scheme: internal departments were put at arm's length, into competition with non-BBC services. The latter became more attractive as film-style production overtook the use of live studio recording.

Actors like Janet Fielding and Brian Blessedhave highlighted the mixing of talent the old TVC community fostered and they're right to lament it. The creative benefits of personal, human interaction are actors' stock-in-trade and the loss of TVC as a community centre affects them most.

TV production has become as decentralised as the BBC itself, however. Informational programmes are increasingly recorded the field and the same goes for works of fiction. TV channels themselves are now just one component of convergence: the unification of all communications media.

BBC television may no longer have a single centre but British TV will certainly retain its shrine. The plan for one end of the complex is a high profile trio of state-of-the-art studios; if these retain their seating for audiences we'll have an admirable, modern complement to London's most prestigious performing venues. The other end of the site will continue to house BBC Worldwide. Though technically separate from the fee-funded Corporation by its commercial remit, Worldwide is instrumental: it brings a significant amount of revenue into the UK in exchange for the BBC content it distributes.

The two BBC areas will frame residences, restaurants shops and hoteling to open the complex to the public. Foot traffic will be able to pass stright through the complex into Hammersmith Park and the surrounding borough. When finished, Television Centre should be a better fit for the world that has changed around it.