Today, the Business Design Centre (BDC)is one of the most popular conference and exhibition venues in London. With its glass facade and modern interior you could be forgiven for assuming that this stunning structure is one of London’s many new builds. However this superb Grade II listed building has in fact been in operation since 1862!
- It used to be the Royal Agricultural Hall
Back in the 1800s the BDC building was known as the Royal Agricultural Hall and was used for you guessed it hosting agricultural shows!
The land had previously been occupied by pasture and cattle sheds and was known as Dixon’s Lairs. Its location set across three acres was deemed ideal for driving animals to and from the Smithfield Livestock market nearby.
So architect Frederick Peck designed a large covered space with a huge single span roof and the Royal Agricultural Hall went on to host many high profile events such as the Royal Smithfield Club’s Smithfield Show from 1862 to 1938 as well as the first ever Crufts dog show in 1891!
2. It was neglected for many years
In 1943 the Agricultural Hall became home to a Parcels Depot after the nearby Mount Pleasant Post Office was destroyed by bombing. Over time the inland and foreign parcels departments moved to new locations and with the exception of the Top Rank Bingo in the Blue Hall the hall fell empty and was neglected for many years.
In early 1974 the then owner offered to sell the hall to the council and the building remained unused and derelict for over ten years.
3. The BDC was opened by Margaret Thatcher
In 1986 Sam Morris bought the building and began work to redevelop it into a new conference and exhibitions venue.
The Business Design Centre was opened formally by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and so began the building’s new purpose of hosting conferences exhibitions and shows for the public.
4. Over 100 businesses rent office space at the BDC
Today the BDC is more than a fabulous venue for shows. With office space available to let ranging from 100sq.ft to 12000sq.ft small start ups looking for an office base in Angel or businesses who need a product display showroom can make use of the exceptional office space available to rent at the BDC.
An office at the BDC offers your business exposure to the 900000 people who attend shows and events each year and gives you exclusive access to the networking events that take place there every month. There are showers 24 hour security and even on-site parking. Not surprising then that over 100 businesses already call the BDC their professional home!
5. You can hire a bed at the BDC!
This super co-working space in Angel has been professionally designed and offers specific areas depending on the way you want to work. Floating desks fixed desks standing desks and even a daybed are all available for you to choose from.
The best part of co-working at the BDC (apart from being able to work in bed!) is the community you’ll have around you – like-minded professionals and creatives provide a fantastic social network ideal for sharing knowledge and ideas as you work.
A bit of history a lot of opportunity – this is what makes the Business Design Centre such a fantastic fixture in Angel. If you’re on the hunt for a flexible affordable co-working space in London book a free tour of BDC Works and we’d love to show you around!