BT Tower – once London’s tallest building – sold

The iconic BT Tower in London is set to become a hotel, if its new owner gets its way.

BT Group revealed on Wednesday that it had agreed to sell the 177 metre-tall (581-ft) tower in the West End to MCR Hotels for £275m.

The grade II listed communications tower, the telecoms firm explained, had become increasingly obsolete given the shift to digital services.

BT Group’s fixed and mobile networks have gradually replaced the tower’s essential role in UK communications.

Its microwave aerials were removed more than a decade ago.

It was once the tallest structure in London.

Upon completion in 1964, it overtook the Millbank Tower but was surpassed by the NatWest Tower in 1980.

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A statement read: “The BT Tower has long been an important site for BT Group’s Media & Broadcast business, as one of the key global interchange points for live television.

“As part of its long-term strategy, the Media & Broadcast division has already been migrating services onto its cloud-based platform, which will allow a more straightforward move to more modern and efficient premises.

“This will enable the division to continue to sit at the heart of UK and global media distribution.”

MCR said it was yet to complete a design for its repurposing of the tower, which would be subject to strict planning rules given its listed status.

“MCR will partner with Camden-based Heatherwick Studio to consider how best to reimagine its use as a hotel,” the company said.

It added that it was likely to be many years before any reopening.

“BT Group will take a number of years to vacate the premises, due to the scale and complexity of the work to move technical equipment, and there will be significant time for design development and engagement with local communities before any proposals come forward,” it said.

Tyler Morse, chief executive and owner of MCR, said: “We are proud to become owners and custodians of the iconic BT Tower.

“We will take our time to carefully develop proposals that respect the London landmark’s rich history and open the building for everyone to enjoy.”

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