BBC bid to lift Maida Vale Studios' listed status rejected

Jorja Smith is one of hundreds of stars to have performed at BBC Maida Vale Studios 

Jorja Smith is one of hundreds of stars to have performed at BBC Maida Vale Studios - Credit: David Jensen/Ian West/PA Archive

A BBC bid to have the listed status of Maida Vale Studios lifted has been rejected by the government.

The corporation wants to sell off the property but options are limited by its Grade II status and it appealed the listing.

The new BBC Music Studios in Stratford East Bank are due to open in 2025, following a delay due to Covid.

They will provide a new venue for the Radio 1 Live Lounge, BBC Proms rehearsals and other concerts, as well as a home for The BBC Singers and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said:  "Acting on advice from Historic England, we determined that Maida Vale met the criteria for listing at Grade II.

"This decision was upheld following a request to review the decision."

BBC Maida Vale Studios in 2020

BBC Maida Vale Studios in 2020 - Credit: PA/Ian West

The building was given Grade II status in 2020 after a local campaign to protect it. Acts including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie have used it, and it was the home of the Peel Sessions.

Theo Morgan, who applied for the listing, said: "I am delighted that the DCMS has made the right call in protecting this unique part of our history. I know I speak for many others who care about our musical and broadcasting heritage in saying we are relieved. In its centenary year, the BBC's unique buildings should be celebrated, not prepared for demolition."

Conductor David Robertson leads Sir David Attenborough (right), with a floor polisher, during a rehe

Conductor David Robertson leads Sir David Attenborough (right), with a floor polisher, during a Maida Vale rehearsal for Sir Malcolm Arnold's A Grand, Grand Overture for the BBC's Last Night of the Proms - Credit: PA

A BBC spokesperson said: “We note the decision. Maida Vale remains a working building and we look forward to moving to the new cultural quarter in Stratford in the future.”

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There are plans to use the new studios as a centre for outreach in east London, participating in apprenticeships and helping young talent talent get into the music industry.

Director general Tim Davie said: “In the anniversary year of the BBC, I am hugely excited by the potential of the BBC Music Studios to allow us to reach audiences in new ways and to create ambitious music programming that audiences everywhere will enjoy.

"We’ve been working with local schools on music education and careers sessions and my desire is that not only will big stars be broadcasting from our studios but that we’ll have inspired local talent to work with the BBC on their own doorstep.”

Blur performing during Jo Whiley's Radio One show at Maida Vale Studios

Blur performing during Jo Whiley's Radio One show at Maida Vale Studios - Credit: PA