Page last updated at 19:13 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Abbey Road studios given listed building status

Abbey Road Studios

London's Abbey Road studios, where The Beatles recorded many albums, has been made a listed building, protecting it from plans to radically alter it.

The venue has been given Grade II status - the third-highest category - for its role in shaping British music.

Culture Minister Margaret Hodge listed the studios on the advice of English Heritage saying it had "produced some of the very best music in the world".

Its owners EMI recently denied reports it was to be sold off to ease debts.

Listing for the property, whose official address is 3 Abbey Road, was granted due to its historic, rather than architectural, merit.

It means any future owners must be careful to make sure the character of the property is treated with respect, but it does not prohibit internal changes.

The Beatles used Abbey Road for 90% of their recordings, naming an album after the studios in 1969.

Other notable recordings there included Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport said the listing acknowledged the studios' "outstanding cultural interest" and was to ensure recording artists for generations to come could continue to make and record music in the same rooms as musical icons.

Last week figures such as Sir Paul McCartney voiced their concern that EMI was reported to be hoping to sell the studios, while Andrew Lloyd Webber expressed an interest in buying the complex.

However, EMI later said it did not want to put the property up for sale.

EMI bought the property for £100,000 in 1929, transforming it into the world-famous studios that have hosted artists as diverse as composer Sir Edward Elgar in 1931, to Pink Floyd and Blur.

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