The BBC has listed its legendary Maida Vale studios for sale for £10.5 million.
Having first been converted to studios for radio broadcast in 1934, the studios in the Grade II listed building form a large slice of London’s musical history, with many of the world’s most notable artists having recorded sessions.
The John Peel Sessions have been particularly era-defining, with more than 2,000 artists having recorded including legendary moments from some of the world’s most notable musical acts, including David Bowie, Bob Marley & The Wailers and Joy Division.
Word that such a storied space is up for sale has not pleased everyone. Composer and producer Mark Ayres described it as “sad news” on Twitter.
A spokesperson for Historic England told the Evening Standard: “In May 2020 the BBC Maida Vale Studios site was listed at Grade II by the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport, in line with our advice.
“The Maida sale site has a history of conversion and reuse. Built in 1909-1910 as the Maida Vale American Skating Palace and converted by the BBC from 1934, the studios are some of the very earliest for radio broadcast to be established in Britain. It is an early and important BBC building, integral to its radio broadcasting since the 1930s, and has an important place in British musical history, having produced some of the world’s most celebrated performers.”
In 2018, the BBC announced that it was planning to move the recording studios to a complex in Stratford in 2025, as part of a redevelopment of the Olympic Park.
Before first being used as music and broadcast studios by the BBC, the building held Europe’s largest roller skating rink. After hosting the BBC Symphony Orchestra until 1946, the space has since primarily been used for recording sessions for the BBC radio stations.
Isaac Muk is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins