The BBC have announced the closure of their Maida Vale studios.
The iconic building has been a BBC staple for 84 years, hosting sessions from The Beatles, Morrissey, Nirvana and more. It was also the site for Bing Crosby’s last recording session and was home to John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 Peel Sessions. The Fall have released full albums of material recorded there.
The team will be moving their music base to a building in the Stratford Waterfront development in the Olympic Park in East London. They hope to complete the move by 2022.
“I understand how much our musical heritage at Maida Vale means to us, to artists and to audiences,” the BBC director general, Tony Hall, said in a note to staff. “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 new site will reportedly feature recording and rehearsal studios, with the BBC also promising to partner with local education group to host music sessions and provide digital music resources to east London schools.
James Purnell, the BBC’s director of radio and education, 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.”
Maida Vale Studios was originally built in 1909 and was home of the Maida Vale Roller Skating Palace and Club.
By the 1930s it was home to the BBC Symphony Orchestra, also acting as a standby centre for BBC radio news during World War Two.