The historic Maida Vale Studios in London has been sold by the BBC to a four-way partnership between Working Title chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and two-time Oscar winner Hans Zimmer and his business partner Steven Kofsky.
The partnership has multi-million pound refurbishment plans to upgrade the studio’s facilities. The original facade of the building will be maintained and there will also be the creation of a not-for-profit educational facility, and a long-term commitment to providing local jobs, innovation and investment.
Maida Vale Studios was bought by the BBC in 1933 and David Bowie, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Dusty Springfield have recorded in the building. In 2018 the BBC decided to move its music studios and performing groups from its Maida Vale location to a new, purpose-built recording and studio space in Stratford’s cultural quarter of East Bank, residing in East London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Bevan and Fellner said: “Maida Vale Studios has been synonymous with artistic excellence for generations. The venue has become part of the fabric of the U.K.’s pioneering cultural industry, from helping to nurture new and ground-breaking artists, to housing some of the world’s most legendary musicians. We are thrilled to be partnering with our old friends Hans Zimmer and Steve Kofsky on this once in a lifetime project and collectively we are determined to continue the BBC’s legacy at Maida Vale by attracting global talent to the U.K. Through our redevelopment plans we will future proof the historic site, continuing its presence in the local community with a new education facility, whilst creating a world class studio space for the next generation of composers, producers, editors and engineers.”
Lorna Clarke, BBC’s director of music, added: “Maida Vale has played such an important part in the BBC’s history, and its significance in popular culture is huge. We are so pleased to secure a sale which looks to continue the bright, vibrant future of music making in this iconic building – not only providing new studio spaces but jobs and an education facility. We look forward to being able to continue to deliver world-class music to BBC audiences with our new tailor-made BBC Music Studios in the wonderfully rich cultural district of London’s East Bank.
Zimmer said: “The first time I worked for the BBC at their Maida Vale Studios was 45 years ago. I was just a kid, in awe, honored to be booked to play on one of my first sessions. 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. This was a place of revolutionary science in the service of art, this was a place that inspired you to give your best, where music was performed around the clock and art was taken seriously. For the people by the people. This was the place that kept a struggling musician like me from giving up.”