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A new record for Hayes

29.09.17

Last Friday, we celebrated the completion of the iconic Record Store at The Old Vinyl Factory, with an event that paid homage to the site’s heritage.

The Art Deco building, which was once the beating heart of EMI’s vinyl pressing operations, has now been remastered by award-winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris to deliver 84,000 sq. ft. of open plan office space.

To celebrate, we welcomed letting agents, local residents, local businesses and partners to a community event with carnival rides, live music, street food and even an apt vinyl market. The event began with the unveiling of a 5.5m statue of Nipper the dog, the icon of the HMV record label whose headquarters were once on the site, by the Mayor of Hillingdon, Carol Melvin.

“Six years after first including the Nipper the dog statue in our original CGI plans, we’re delighted to introduce you to him today.” Commented Richard Upton, Deputy CEO of U+I at the unveiling. He went on to note that the statue, which was never once forgotten throughout the planning process of the site, was a symbol of U+I’s commitment to creating special places: “We care about place. We care about heritage. We believe that a great business can create great communities.”

Letting agents were also given the opportunity to experience the Record Store in virtual reality, giving them a window into how the office space could be configured for different occupiers’ needs. New tenants at the Record Store will be in good company, as the neighbouring Shipping Building is already fully let and home to the likes of Sonos sound systems. The Central Research Laboratory (CRL), a start-up accelerator and co-working space full of hardware, digital, design and business talent, is also based next door.

The opening of the Record Store marks the next milestone for the wider regeneration of The Old Vinyl Factory. Since it first opened its doors over a century ago, the site remained a landmark in its own right – a pillar of the music industry and a backbone for the town. Once the transformation is complete, the site will lay the foundation for a new generation of enterprise and business in Hayes. 

Whilst a significant piece of local history has been restored, the Record Store is symbolic of the changing tide in Hayes. The much-anticipated Crossrail - taking commuters from Hayes to Zone 1 in 22 minutes, or to Heathrow in 5 minutes - has catalysed an influx of businesses looking to move out of central London, looking for accessible places with a strong sense of community.

As the redevelopment of The Old Vinyl Factory continues, you can find out more information here: http://theoldvinylfactory.com/

[Photography: Tribal London]
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