On this Day 1960: ATV’s Rutland House officially opened

On this Day: December 14th, 1960.

The grand opening of Rutland House, took place on this day in 1960. The office block was built as the Midland headquarters for ATV, located on Edmund Street in Birmingham.

The Birmingham Lord Mayor Garnet Boughton, in the footage, is met outside by Philip Dorte of ATV. Inside Norman Collins of ATV hands over a microphone to Boughton who makes a speech referring to the new studio building being constructed at Aston. At the end of the speech, he cuts a piece of videotape to declare the building open.

ATV’s main office (for the Midlands) was based at Rutland House, until the completion of the Alpha Tower building in 1970. Both the Alpha Television Studios at Aston Cross in Birmingham and Rutland House were closed when finally both studio and office facilities were united on the same site at the Paradise ATV Centre on Broad Street and Bridge Street in the city centre. The studio facilities moved first in September 1969. ATV Centre was used for television production until 1997 with services for Central Television, ITN, Carlton International and Sky News operating from the studios until closure.

Rutland House continues to operate as an office space complex. It was refurbished externally and internally between 2007 and 2009 with a major re-imaging for the first time since the building opened in 1960.

ATV’s overall HQ was ATV House, 17 Great Cumberland Place, London. The main studio and production office facilities were located at the ATV Elstree Centre in Borehamwood. Prior to 1960, and the opening of Elstree, ATV in London had several sites across the city, including The Wood Green Empire Theatre used as studio space. The company also initially shared office space with Associated-Rediffusion in their Television House, Kingsway, London. TV House also was the base for several other ITV services in the 50s including the TV Times magazine and ITN News.

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