An iconic photographic studio in Hoxton, a favourite with photographers such as David Hockney and Helmut Newton, as well as stars including Madonna, David Bowie and Kate Moss is under threat of demolition under plans to redevelop the site. Holborn Studios, which runs alongside the Regent’s Canal, is the largest photography complex in Europe, but developers Gold Property Developments, which has owned the site for 30 years, want to build flats, a shopping centre and ‘state-of-the art commercial space’ on the site.
Opponents say the scheme will destroy the tight-knit community that has developed around the studio, and the historic buildings that houses it, as well as leading to the loss of around 130 jobs from the studio and the 20 other companies located there. A spokesman for Gold Property Developments said they have made it clear to the McCartney family, who founded the business 34 years ago, that their plans ‘do not preclude their future occupation of a redeveloped building.’
But Billy McCartney, whose parents founded the studios, told Time Out it would not be possible to house a photographic and film studio complex in the spaces he has been shown so far in the consultation documents. ‘We have seen nothing that will work for us. Although we have been offered space which might work in cubic footage, we need space that is triple height for the photographs.’ He added, ‘There is so much history in this place. It has been the scene of so many great pictures, with so many great stories behind them and that is irreplaceable.’
You can sign a petition to help save the studio at friendsofholbornstudios.com.