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Old Vinyl Factory building, Hayes, Greater London
Old Vinyl Factory building, Hayes, Greater London

Music to our ears: New lease of life to historic EMI Records pressing plant

2 July 2020

The Gramophone development presented a unique opportunity for social entrepreneurs Really Local Fund CIC. By retaining sections of the former pressing plant in Hayes, an iconic industrial component of the global music trade, they aim to create a new cultural venue in the heart of Hayes which is undergoing major regeneration and development of housing. To underline their vision, they have already received a £1.2m funding boost from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund.

The AHF is delighted to be part of this exciting redevelopment project, supporting Really Local Fund CIC with loan investment of £500,000 towards converting the Old Vinyl Factory building based in Hayes, Greater London into a multi-purpose culture centre for the diverse communities it will serve.

The planned development will house three cinema screens, an open plan café/bar, a community space, recording studios, and to retain the site’s history there will be an interactive rolling EMI music exhibition to champion and engage with the heritage of the area and site.

These creative facilities aim to bring working artists into the spaces to nurture a creative ecosystem where musicians, for example, can record in the studios as well as gig in the venue. The Gramophone will offer discounted rates for community space, curated film seasons, discussion groups and free evening music events that will further extend the reach and incentivise participation from local communities. 

This exciting development will provide both economic and social impact to the area, whilst retaining the arts and heritage value of the site.

Commenting on the investment, Matthew Mckeague, CEO of the AHF said:

“Despite the challenging times we find ourselves in, we will still need cultural and heritage venues in the post Covid-19 world. This then is a very exciting development and one that provides a new story in the history of this famous site. We look forward to working with Really Local CIC in realising their vision for the centre.”

Preston Benson, Director of the Really Local Fund CIC says:

 “The Old Vinyl Factory has played an important role in the industrial and cultural heritage of the global music trade. Our future plans for the site, the development of The Gramophone, will ensure that the last remaining structure of this iconic facility is preserved for future generations. We are delighted the AHF will be an integral part of delivering these plans. ”

Visit for further details.

Photo Credit

Really Local Fund CIC

Editor’s notes

1)    The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. We are the only specialist heritage social investor in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans.

2)    For media enquiries please contact Oliver Brodrick-Ward, on 020 79250199 /

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