Queen’s Park recording studio sold for housing because ‘music industry killed by property prices’
- Credit: Archant
The co-owner of a Queen’s Park recording studio sold to a housing association for almost £5million has said London’s soaring property prices have “killed” the local music industry.
Jerry Evans expressed concern for the capital’s cultural future after it was revealed he and his business partner were forced into selling The Old Dairy, in Kilburn Lane, to Westminster Community Homes as the business was no longer financially viable.
The studio had previously hosted musicians including U2 and Adele, and is currently home to 13 different music companies.
Mr Evans – who also co-owns Tickle Audio Hire, a company that rents equipment to recording studios – said since most of their clients had had to move out of central London because of high rents, he was unable to continue to run a profitable hire business in the same location.
“We’ve been here for 20 years with pretty much the same people in the yard. I was really worried about selling because they’re all our friends but in the end it was our only real option,” he said.
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“Property prices have killed London’s music industry. As an owner it’s impossible to get any return from owning property through music any more.”
Westminster Community Homes – a subsidiary of Westminster Council which has “charitable aims” – now wants to turn the studios into a mix of affordable and private homes after buying the land for £4.95million.
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It is rumoured to be planning to knock down the existing brick buildings and build a new development with as high density construction as possible.
A spokesman refused to be drawn on the exact plans for the 10,500sq ft plot, but confirmed that “we intend to build a mixed development including affordable homes”.
The news it was planning to build affordable homes was welcomed by locals.
Frederick Sivers, 93, who has lived on the Queen’s Park estate since 1938, said: “I think we should have more housing. There’s a massive shortage in the whole country but we definitely need affordable housing in this area. It’s quite a poor area. It’s still for working-class people.”
However, others expressed concern that Westminster Community Housing had not committed fully to providing affordable housing.
Lavenna Peters, 30, of Kilburn Lane, said: “What would be bad is saying they’re going to make it affordable and not doing it.”