ITV has defended the closure of The London Studios (TLS) following claims from media and entertainment trade union BECTU that the plans are a “betrayal of staff”.
The broadcaster’s proposal is part of a significant planned redevelopment of the company’s South Bank base. Planning permission, however, is yet to be granted, and ITV do not envisage the TLS closing before Spring 2018.
An ITV spokesman said: “After giving careful consideration to all London property options, we are planning to build a modern, purpose-built HQ on our existing South Bank site, bringing together all of our London-based staff in one location for the first time.
“ITV has evolved and grown considerably over the years and the TLS no longer gives us the kind of space, facilities, or collaborative environment that we need from our London home.”
“We’ve been searching for an alternative London base for a number of years now – designing our own bespoke London home means that we can put the key facilities that we need as an integrated producer broadcaster at the very heart of our building.
ITV bought the freehold of the complex in 2013 for £56 million.
In an email to staff announcing the move, ITV’s CEO, Adam Crozier, said: “We’ve given very careful consideration to what our plans mean for TLS, which would require significant investment to replicate within our proposed South Bank redevelopment.
“Looking ahead, we believe that this investment would not be core to the strategic priorities of the ITV Studios business and so we’re proposing to close TLS and use studio capacity in the external market to meet our future business needs.”