The BBC’s iconic Maida Vale Studios in London has been sold to a business partnership headed by Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer and film producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, the British broadcaster has confirmed.
The famous facility has been used for music recording since the 1930s and has played host to everyone from Adele to David Bowie to The Beatles to the majority of bands recording sessions for legendary DJs such as John Peel during its storied history. The BBC first announced its plans to close the building and relocate to a new purpose-built music base in 2018, although Maida Vale Studios was only officially put up for sale by the broadcaster in November.
The new owners, which also includes Zimmer’s business partner, Steven Kofsky, have said that the Grade II listed building — originally a roller-skating palace — will continue to operate as a music hub and will undergo a multi-million-pound refurbishment to create a “world-class studio space for the next generation of composers, producers, editors and engineers.”
Terms were not disclosed for the deal, but last year it was reported that the Maida Vale studios were being advertised on the property market for offers above £10.5 million ($13.3 million).
In announcing the sale, the BBC’s director of music, Lorna Clarke, paid tribute to the important role the venue has played in British popular culture. “We are so pleased to secure a sale which looks to continue the bright, vibrant future of music-making in this iconic building,” she said in a statement.
Zimmer recalled the first time he worked for the BBC at the complex 45 years ago. “I still remember the strong pull, the desire to touch the walls, as if that would somehow allow me to connect to the artists whose extraordinary music had resonated against these walls on a daily basis,” the composer said in an official statement.
The world-renowned composer went on to say that he now wants to “close the circle” and make the facility an inspirational place “that gives the next generation the same opportunities I was given: to create and to never give up.”
In addition to playing host to a wealth of rock and pop stars over the years — a long list that also includes Led Zeppelin, Dusty Springfield, Beyoncé and Bing Crosby, who made this final recording there in 1977 just days before he died — Maida Vale studios was previously home to the BBC’s pioneering Radiophonic Workshop.
When the corporation announced plans to sell the site in 2018, Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich was among those who called for it to be saved, saying it was an “incredibly important part of our cultural heritage – every bit as important as Abbey Road studios.”
At the time of writing, the facility is home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra and is regularly used to record a large number of music and drama sessions broadcast across the BBC’s radio and online network. The BBC says it has agreed to lease back the building from the new owners and will continue to use the studios until it moves to a new complex, which is currently under construction in East London and due to open in late 2025.