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BBC-owned Maida Vale Studios given Grade-II listed status by Historic England

PUBLISHED: 17:57 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:47 07 May 2020

Violinist Nigel Kennedy rehearses with the BBC Concert Orchestra at Maida Vale Studios in 2008, ahead of a performance at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Picture: Zak Hussein/PA

Violinist Nigel Kennedy rehearses with the BBC Concert Orchestra at Maida Vale Studios in 2008, ahead of a performance at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Picture: Zak Hussein/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The historic BBC Studios building in Maida Vale has been given Grade II-listed status by Historic England.

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.

Local campaigners, including councillors, are delighted that the heritage body has seen fit to recognise the building’s importance.

Cllr Geoff Barraclough (Lab, Maida Vale) was among those to call for the listed status to be awarded when the BBC first announced its plans to vacate the site.

Greeting the news, he said: “I’m delighted that Historic England has ignored objections from the BBC and agreed to recognise the role the BBC Studios have played in our cultural history.

“It’s now up the BBC to come back with proposals for the building that respect its new status as Grade 2 listed.”

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.

In a letter to activist Theo Morgan, who applied for the listing, Historic England said: “We have now considered all the representations made and completed our assessment of the building. I am delighted to inform you that having considered our recommendation, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport has decided to add BBC Maida Vale Studios to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. “The building is now listed at Grade II.”

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In June 2018, the BBC announced it was to leave the iconic west London building and transfer its functions to a state-of-the-art complex in east London.

This led to Cllr Barraclough telling this newspaper there was a “strong risk that the site is simply bulldozed and turned into unaffordable luxury flats” were it not be given listed status.

In 2007, the BBC announced the studios were “wholly unsuitable for the 21st century”, but until 2018 they were unable to find an alternative.

The venue 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.

The BBC and Historic England have been approached for comment.


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