The BBC’s Pebble Mill complex opened in 1971 on a 6 acre site and was the hub of regional programming – including the popular Pebble Mill at 1 show which ran from 1973 to 1986 along with regional news programmes and Gardening Today for which the BBC also ‘annexed’ part of Kings Heath Park.
However, as with the majority of 1960/70s constructions, they were far from structurally perfect and Pebble Mill suffered from more than its fair share of flaws. In addition to this, the shift in programming from cosy studio sets to outside/mobile broadcasting left the need for the vast studio complex shrinking coupled with advances in IT meaning most of the work of the BBC in the region could be accomplished in a much smaller, high-tech environment.
In 2004, the inevitable happened and the BBC announced it would be moving to new premises at the Mailbox in the City Centre. Advantage West Midlands, the Regional Development Agency, acquired the site from the BBC and promptly set about demolishing and clearing the site to make way for a technology and science park . . . which has yet to be fully realised.
Not one of the more aesthetically pleasing structures in the region, it was nevertheless a landmark structure and, through its connection with television and radio, one of the most famous.