The ailing music group EMI has vowed not to sell London's Abbey Road, the recording studio made world famous by The Beatles, following months of intense speculation that it could be offloaded.
EMI, which is owned by Guy Hands' private equity company Terra Firma, also said it welcomed English Heritage's accelerated plan to make Abbey Road a listed building as a way of protecting it as a music heritage site. The music company confirmed it was holding discussions with "interested and appropriate third parties" to finance its plans to "revitalise" Abbey Road, where the studio has been losing money for a number of years.
The plans are thought to include creating a museum at the site. An EMI spokesman said: "At all times, these plans have focused on providing access to artists and, where possible, members of the public. In mid-2009, we did receive an offer to buy Abbey Road but this was rejected since we believe that Abbey Road should remain in EMI's ownership."
Today, the Baroness Andrews, the chairwoman of English Heritage, was expected to confirm to the Culture minister, Margaret Hodge, that the organisation remains committed to its 2003 recommendation that the studios should be granted Grade II listed status.