Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, has issued an email to staff today (June 5) announcing the closure of Maida Vale Studios. It will bring an end to the corporation’s association with Maida Vale, which has played host to thousands of appearances on Radio 1, Radio 2 and 6 Music – including Live Lounge performances.
The complex will be replaced by a brand new facility in Stratford’s Olympic Park. It is due for completion in 2022-2023.
In a statement, Hall said: “I understand how much our musical heritage at Maida Vale means to us, to artists and to audiences. 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.”
Stratford Waterfront will become the base for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the BBC Singers, and will be used regularly by the BBC Concert Orchestra and live music performances across BBC Radio. It will have both music recording studios and rehearsal spaces.
James Purnell, the BBC’s director of radio and education, has stressed the new opportunities the planned state-of-the-art Stratford site will offer.
“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,” said Purnell.
A host of artists have rushed to social media to pay tribute to Maida Vale.
sad to hear the BBC are moving live music from Maida Vale. we've had some good times doing sessions and stuff in their studios there. https://t.co/n4hIIP1xhU— ENTER SHIKARI (@ENTERSHIKARI) June 5, 2018
Very sad to hear that the beeb are closing down Maida Vale. Getting to play in a studio knowing Zeppelin, Beatles & Bowie (etc) had also stepped foot in there was so special. Surely it should be a listed site for its musical history?? Bye, bye MV ???? xx pic.twitter.com/am7utf5kZl— Pulled Apart By Horses (@pabh) June 5, 2018