The Old Vinyl Factory
Unloved and misunderstood for many years since EMI moved out in the mid 1970s, the site and its important collection of Art Deco buildings was recently acquired in a joint venture partnership by Cathedral Group PLC and Development Securities PLC and is being transformed through a radical redevelopment programme that pays homage to its important history and will bring it back to life as the most exciting mixed-use development west of London.
At the heart of the vision are the raw materials. The existing buildings. Beautiful Wallis, Gilbert & Partners Art Deco landmark structures, visible to every train passenger travelling into and out of Central London. The bold, white buildings are like “the White Cliffs of Hayes,” as David West one of the architects working on the masterplan calls them. And, now they are at the heart of a major mixed-use regeneration project. The vision is to create not just another business park that becomes a deserted wasteland in the evening but a vibrant community place where people will live, work and play.
We started our transformation of the site straight away, breathing new life into The Shipping Building, the only building currently occupied on site. We opened a new cafe called The Vinyl Canteen, a bright and airy space designed by Morag Myerscough and run by the GCDA. They are an organisation which provides healthy, affordable, locally sourced produce which is then sold in the canteen, encouraging the workers on-site to lead a healthier lifestyle. There are 1000 7″ records stuck to the walls as a nod to the site’s music history too. The reception area was also completely overhauled and branded bikes were introduced for staff use, most of them being used to cycle the short distance into Hayes town centre at lunchtime.
In November 2011, the old cafe in The Shipping Building was transformed into a contemporary gallery showing the exhibition, PICTURE THIS, a collection of some amazing photographs from the development of the site over the past 100 years, including fascinating scenes from the former EMI/HMV Factories. The latest additions to this gallery space are three customised sheds which will tell the story of the site’s industrial, cultural and musical significance not just to Hayes but to the UK as a whole.
In 2012, the former marketing suite of the site’s previous owners was transformed into The Vinyl Lounge, a new creative hub for the local community. Will Self, Professor of Contemporary Thought at Brunel University and celebrated author launched The Vinyl Lounge in October with a day long seminar about urban regeneration. Since then, we’ve held events in partnership with Brunel University, Uxbridge College and many more creative organisations.
Before development has even begun, The Old Vinyl Factory has become a destination for creativity, reminiscence and celebration.