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Iconic Beatles studio set to become Yesterday's news

PUBLISHED: 12:38 31 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:26 07 September 2010

By Ed Thomas THE iconic Maida Vale Studios are coming to the end of the track as the BBC considers swingeing cuts, the Wood&Vale can reveal. Top artists from The Beatles to the English National Opera have recorded at the studios in Delaware Road, built in

By Ed Thomas

THE iconic Maida Vale Studios are coming to the end of the track as the BBC considers swingeing cuts, the Wood&Vale can reveal.

Top artists from The Beatles to the English National Opera have recorded at the studios in Delaware Road, built in the 1930s as a permanent home for the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

They also became home to the legendary Peel Sessions for BBC Radio 1, attracting bands from around the world for live recordings.

The BBC's executive board held top-level discussions this week amid a funding crisis and is considering stripping away assets including the studios to release cash.

"The BBC's long-term property strategy for London is to concentrate our operations on the newly refurbished Broadcasting House in central London and in Wood Lane," said a spokeswoman. "The aim of this is to cut costs and provide buildings suitable for digital broadcasting.

"We are costing a wide range of options. As always, value for money for licence fee payers will be a prime consideration. There's still a great deal of work to be done before any decisions can be taken."

The news shocked residents, who view the studios as one of the area's main attractions.

"I love that the studios are here," said Alice Chandler, 23, from Delaware Road. "It's so nice to live in an area of London that is very quiet but with big stuff going on and interesting people passing by all the time to record at the studios.

"Just looking out of my window, I've seen people like Amy Winehouse, Girls Aloud, McFly and many classical performers." She added: "The studios don't annoy anyone. They're soundproofed and there's never any interference. They are a piece of music history on our doorsteps."

The BBC converted the Maida Vale Roller Skating Palace into the studios in the early 1930s. They have become its main home for musical recording.

Beatlemania hit the area in the early 1960s when the Fab Four recorded tracks at the studios for BBC broadcasts. Sir Paul McCartney lives down the road in St John's Wood.

Cecelia Bruggemeyer plays double bass for the London-based Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment which rehearses in the studios. She said: "Losing them would make it even harder to find somewhere to play. It would be a real shame to see it go."

ed.thomas@wood-vale.com

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