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BBC announces closure of Maida Vale Studios, new studio complex to open in East London

By | Published on Wednesday 6 June 2018

BBC Stratford mock up

The BBC has announced that it is closing down its iconic Maida Vale Studios. In their place, it will open a new complex in the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. This, says the Beeb, will enable the corporation to “record and broadcast more live music than ever before”.

“I understand how much our musical heritage at Maida Vale means to us, to artists and to audiences”, said Hall in a memo to staff yesterday. “We haven’t taken this decision lightly. But we’re determined to ensure that live music remains at the heart of the BBC and moving to this new development gives us the opportunity to do just that”.

The BBC first converted a former rollerskating rink in the London borough of Maida Vale into a studio in 1909, and over the years it has variously played home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Numerous iconic live sessions by artists have also been recorded there. However, it has been on borrowed time for more than a decade – the Beeb declaring in 2007 that the complex was “wholly unsuitable for the 21st century”.

Anyone who had their heart set on recording a session at Maida Vale has a bit of time still. The changeover isn’t expected to take place until 2022 at the earliest. The West London space may, of course, continue to operate as recording studios after that time if a new owner for such a thing could be found. Although we should probably assume that it will get turned into luxury flats like everything else. Or maybe when Brexit causes the bottom to fall out of the property market the building will just be left derelict. So many exciting possibilities!

As for the new studio complex, BBC Director Of Radio & Education James Purnell said: “This proposed new building will act as a magnet for music development in East London and will allow us to share our music facilities and expertise with local, diverse communities as well as being a much better place for our brilliant music staff to work from”.



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