Hans Zimmer becomes new co-owner after buying BBC’s Maida Vale Studios

todayAugust 14, 2023 6

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Hans Zimmer becomes new co-owner after buying BBC’s Maida Vale Studios

Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer has bought the BBC’s iconic Maida Vale Studios in London in a partnership with three film producers.

The venue, which the BBC had owned since 1933, has played host to the likes of David Bowie, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Beyonce, as well as being the home of performing groups such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The site, in northwest London, went on sale for around £10m but the corporation would not confirm if it sold for that. A spokesperson told Sky News they had secured a “good deal”.

It comes despite a last-minute bid from a consortium which included Hollywood film producer Matthew Vaughn. Sources told Sky News they offered £16m for the site.

One media industry insider questioned if there had been a “lack of transparency” from the BBC in its handling of the process in light of the reportedly higher offer.

The new owners, who include producer and composer Steven Kofsky, along with Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title films, said they would continue the site’s legacy by keeping it as a music studio space.

They also promised to refurbish the building while maintaining its original facade – while establishing a new “not-for-profit educational facility”.

The 78th Venice Film Festival - Screening of the film

Hans Zimmer, pictured in 2021 at the Venice Film Festival

Zimmer, known for scoring films including Gladiator and The Lion King, said he had been “in awe” of the studios when he first did some work for the BBC 45 years ago.

He described it as “the place that kept a struggling musician like me from giving up”.

“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,” he said.

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“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.”

“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,” Zimmer added.

The BBC said it would move its music base to a new purpose-built studio space in east London on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site. It hopes to open the building in late 2025.

The broadcaster’s director of music, Lorna Clarke, said: “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.”

Written by: Newsroom

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