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Urgent calls for famous BBC Maida Vale studios to be listed

PUBLISHED: 18:00 07 June 2018

The BBC studios at Maida Vale in London. The broadcaster is leaving the famous studios to move to a new development in east London.

The BBC studios at Maida Vale in London. The broadcaster is leaving the famous studios to move to a new development in east London.

PA Wire/PA Images

A Maida Vale councillor has called on Historic England to “urgently consider” listing the area’s famous recording studios after the BBC announced it was to close the building after over eighty years.

On Tuesday the broadcaster announced in an email to its staff that it will vacate the property - which it has inhabited since the 1930s - by 2022.

The BBC confirmed to this newspaper that when they leave Maida Vale they will be looking to sell the freehold to the property.

The corporation’s exit has stoked fears that the historic property could be demolished turned into housing.

Councillor Geoff Barraclough, Labour representative for the Maida Vale ward on Westminster council told the Wood&Vale: “The BBC Maida Vale studios are an integral part of the nation’s musical heritage and it’s sad to see the BBC pay so little regard to our cultural history.

“Historic England urgently needs to consider listing the building so that any future development reflects the important role Maida Vale Studios have played in the development of classical and pop music in Britain and around the world.”

“There is a strong risk that the site is simply bulldozed and turned into unaffordable luxury flats.”

Maida Vale Studios was built in 1909 as the home of the Maida Vale Roller Skating Palace and Club, but the BBC took over the building in the 1930s.

Since then it has played host to a huge number of live music milestones including DJ John Peel’s famed Radio 1 sessions. Until 1998 the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, which created the Doctor Who theme music, was also based there.

Tony Hall, BBC Director General, says: “We’re hugely excited about the prospect of joining the new Stratford Waterfront development. The future home of the BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, BBC Singers and our rock and pop recording facilities is one of the most exciting cultural developments in London.”

In 2007, the BBC announced that the studios were “wholly unsuitable for the 21st century”, but until now they were unable to find an alternative.

Historic England are the body responsible for listing historic buildings. They told this newspaper that, although there has been no application for the building to be listed yet, any member of the public can fill in an online form which they would then consider.

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