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BFI drops £130m new HQ plans

The British Film Institute (BFI) has canned its plans to build a new £130m headquarters on London’s South Bank.

CN’s sister publication Architects’ Journal revealed that the BFI had decided to drop the plans because it believed it would not be able hit the 2019 deadline for planning permission required by the proposed Hungerford car park site.

The BFI has decided to instead embark on a major refurbishment of its current facilities early this year.

It had taken nearly a decade for the institute to secure funding for its plans to build a new home on the Hungerford car park on the South Bank.

The BFI was boosted when Bangkok-based property giant Pace Development came on board in January last year offering to provide £87m for the project, as well as offering full design, build and partial fit-out.

In return it was understood Pace would receive full naming rights for the building, as well as exclusivity of food and beverage sales in the venue, and partial repayment of the funding over a period of time.

The deal also allowed the developer to select a main contractor and other consultants on the project.

A BFI spokesperson told AJ: “The BFI has taken the decision to withdraw its current development plans for a Film Centre on the Hungerford Car Park site at South Bank, London.

“[We are] steadfastly committed to the culture of film and the future of the moving image, and we remain focused on the urgent and much-needed investment in our current home, BFI Southbank, planning to start in early 2018 with a major refurbishment project of BFI Southbank’s Riverfront.”

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