Famous London landmark BT Tower to be turned into hotel in £275m deal

The new owner has said it will be many years before anyone is able to stay in the hotel. Credit: PA

The iconic BT Tower in London will be turned into a hotel in a £275million deal, the company has announced.

BT Group revealed on Wednesday it had agreed to sell the 177 metres (581ft) building located in the West End to MCR Hotels.

The Grade-II listed building, once the tallest structure in the capital, has been sold in a bid to "secure it's place as a London landmark for the future".

Messages displayed on the BT Tower over the past few years.

The telecoms company added the tower had become increasingly obsolete given the shift to digital services.

BT Group's fixed and mobile networks, for instance, have now replaced the tower's essential role in UK communications.

The firm said as part of its long-term strategy, services have moved onto its cloud-based platform, which enables it to move to more modern and efficient premises.

The main structure is 177 metres (581ft) high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 189 metres (620ft). Credit: PA

Brent Mathews, property director at BT Group, said: “The BT Tower sits at the heart of London and we’ve been immensely proud to be the owners of this important landmark since 1984.

"It’s played a vital role in carrying the nation’s calls, messages and TV signals, but increasingly we’re delivering content and communication via other means.

"This deal with MCR will enable BT Tower to take on a new purpose, preserving this iconic building for decades to come.”

Tyler Morse, CEO and owner of MCR Hotels, said: “We are proud to preserve this beloved building and will work to develop proposals to tell its story as an iconic hotel, opening its doors for generations to enjoy.”

MCR Hotels own around 150 hotels, including the historic landmark Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Hotel in New York City.

Payment for the sale will be made over multiple years, as BT Group equipment is progressively removed from the building, with final payment on completion of the purchase.

The BT Tower, has been an iconic feature of the London skyline since its completion in 1964.

BT Tower was opened for operations in 1965 by Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Credit: BT Group

It retained the title of the tallest structure in the capital until it was overtaken by the NatWest Tower in 1980.

The building was commissioned by the General Post Office (GPO) and it's chief aim was to support microwave aerials that were at that time used to carry telecommunications traffic between London and the rest of the country.

The building was opened to the public in 1971, with the launch of a restaurant in its revolving top floor.

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