Green light for new mixed-use venue in West London

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The Gramophone, London, Old Vinyl Factory

U+I and Really Local Group have secured the go-ahead from the London Borough of Hillingdon to bring the former pressing plant at The Old Vinyl Factory back into a mixed-use venue

The site, to be called The Gramophone, will celebrate the area’s rich cultural and industrial heritage whilst providing a state-of-the-art bespoke cultural and entertainment hub for Hayes and West London.

The Gramophone has been designed by Architecture Initiative.

Previously, it was an iconic component of the global music trade, responsible for stamping the grooves onto heated vinyl records that subsequently shipped around the world.

The Gramophone forms the final part of The Old Vinyl Factory development located at the site of the former EMI record plant, where records by artists such as Pink Floyd and The Beatles were historically pressed, and the building celebrates this rich musical heritage through its design and end-use.

It will become home to a new cultural and entertainment hub at the heart of The Old Vinyl Factory masterplan.

The scheme relates to its heritage setting by situating old and new elements in sensitive harmony.

The existing brick façade is presented most prominently to the wider development, with modern elements set back – including a pre-cast concrete roof ‘box’ for housing the cinema screens. Wall-mounted projectors will cast interactive images onto the street to engage local residents and passers-by while referencing the building’s history.

The Old Vinyl Factory benefits from an incredibly well-connected location, just five minutes walking distance to Hayes & Harlington Station, with fast trains to Heathrow (6 minutes) and London Paddington (15 minutes).

The Gramophone was awarded a £1.2m funding boost from the GLA’s Good Growth Fund, showing significant confidence in the scheme’s importance to Hayes.

A new social hub

Richard Upton, CEO at U+I said: “The Gramophone is an important part of The Old Vinyl Factory – as the final piece of the masterplan, this new cultural hub will benefit the local people of Hayes and attract visitors from across London.

“The scheme illustrates U+I’s commitment to heritage-led creative regeneration and we look forward to bringing this final element of a truly remarkable and historic site to life.”

Preston Benson, founder at Really Local Group, said: “The Gramophone provides such a unique opportunity to restore a piece of cultural history.

“We are thrilled to be a part of its redevelopment and operation. Not only will the venue champion the exceptional musical and industrial heritage of the site but it will also serve as a much-needed social hub for the area, which in our post-pandemic world, will be more important than ever.

“Our venue will host an eclectic programme of arts and entertainment in an inclusive space and operated collaboratively with the local community.

“The Gramophone really is one of a kind and we hope that its legacy transcends future generations.”

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