Hans Zimmer among buyers of BBC’s Maida Vale studios

The BBC has announced that its legendary Maida Vale recording studios have been sold, with Hans Zimmer confirmed to be among the buyers.

Sharing the news today (August 14), the complex made up of seven studios on Delaware Road in West London, has been sold to a partnership between Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and Hans Zimmer and Steven Kofsky.

The studio was first bought by the BBC in 1933 and has hosted the likes of David Bowie, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and many more.

News of the sale first emerged in early July, with reports suggesting that Zimmer bought the BBC‘s iconic studio for £10.5million.

Maida Vale Studios
BBC Maida Vale Studios in London. Picture date: Tuesday January 21, 2020. (CREDIT: Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

As per a press release, purchasers have agreed that “Maida Vale’s legacy as a centre for pioneering music-making will continue”, and plan to keep the original exterior of the building to “preserve the ethos of Maida Vale”.

The building will remain a studio space, but there are plans for a multi-million pound refurbishment including the creation of a not-for-profit educational facility along with a “long-term commitment to providing local jobs, innovation and investment”.

“The first time I worked for the BBC at their Maida Vale Studios was 45 years ago. I was just a kid, in awe, honoured to be booked to play on one of my first sessions,” Zimmer said in a press statement. “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.”

The legendary composer also reflected on working with Bevan and Fellner, co-chairmen of film studio Working Title, around the same time. “Movies not only made in Britain with the greatest talent the country had – and still has – to offer, but movies that often provoked and had something to say about a changing Britain; that gave voice to our generation. Usually by making you laugh,” he added.

Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer. CREDIT: BBC

He said his time collaborating with Working Title “gave me my career in Hollywood”, and Kofsky, who became his partner “made sure to drag the work from as many Hollywood films as possible back to Britain”.

Zimmer concluded: “So now I want to close the circle: make Maida Vale Studios a place that inspires, teaches, technologically serves the arts and humanity, and gives the next generation the same opportunities I was given: to create and to never give up.”

Bevan and Fellner added in a joint statement: “Maida Vale Studios has been synonymous with artistic excellence for generations. The venue has become part of the fabric of the UK’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 working 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 UK.”

They added that, through redevelopment plans, they 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, Director of Music at the BBC, said that they were “so pleased to secure a sale which looks to continue the bright, vibrant future of music making in this iconic building”.

She added that the broadcaster looks forward to “being able to continue to deliver world-class music to BBC audiences” with its new tailor-made BBC Music Studios in the “wonderfully rich cultural district of London’s East Bank”.

The sale of Maida Vale Studios comes after plans were announced in 2018 that the BBC would move its music studios and performing groups to a new location in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford.

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