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What is the future for Abbey Road studios?

PUBLISHED: 16:45 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:47 07 September 2010

THE much-loved Abbey Road studios in St John's Wood could soon be sold off. The historic recording studios, the name of which was immortalised on the last Beatles album in 1969, has been put on the market by its owner EMI, it was reported

Sanchez Manning

THE much-loved Abbey Road studios in St John's Wood could soon be sold off.

The historic recording studios, the name of which was immortalised on the last Beatles album in 1969, has been put on the market by its owner EMI, it was reported this week.

A sale of the property could raise millions of pounds, which could help EMI pay off the huge debts it inherited when it was taken over by private equity company Terra Firma.

But it is still to be confirmed whether it will be sold with the Abbey Road brand.

EMI bought the studios for £100,000 in 1929, and they have gone from being used to record British propaganda during the Second World War to being patronised by legendary bands such as Pink Floyd and The Beatles.

Both EMI and staff at Abbey Road studios refused to comment on reports of the sale which were made in a national newspaper and claimed bidders were already being courted for the property.

Richard Porter, who runs a guided Beatles tour which includes the studios, in St John's Wood, said: "I'm very worried that it's going to be sold and made into apartments or something. Paul McCartney said he's heard of plans of people who previously worked there trying to buy it. If that's true it will be good news.

"From a Beatles fan's point of view, it's the most important Beatles place in London and musicians I've spoken to say that recording there is like Catholics going to the Sistine Chapel.

"The best case scenario is that someone buys it and keeps it as a recording studio. I'd love to buy it but I don't think I can afford it."

Natalie Salama-Levy, owner of Adafini Deli, on Abbey Road said: "Of course it's very sad that it's being sold. It's a fantastic landmark for us. It's nice to have something so local and so historic."

Number three Abbey Road was originally a Georgian townhouse before it was purchased by EMI and turned into the country's first purpose-built recording studios.

It is one of the few venues that can fit a full orchestra and has been used by Sir Edward Elgar to conduct the London Symphony Orchestra.

More recently, it has been used for the recording of film scores for movies such as the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

EMI also attempted to bolster its profile by holding the Abbey Road Live sessions there last year.

The sale is expected to raise around £10million.

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