PEOPLE were given a first taste of the radical vision for derelict factories in the centre of Hayes.

The public was invited to comment on the proposals for the 18-acre former home of EMI and The Gramaphone Company, which will include a cinema, a music museum and restaurant, and five multi-storey blocks of flats among the five 1920s art deco office blocks which will be fully refurbished.

‘The Powerhouse’, one of the original buildings which generated energy for the factories from 1908, will provide sustainable heat and electricity for the complex, and double as a live entertainment venue.

The whole complex is intersected by ‘The Groove’, a winding path paved with classic lyrics from EMI’s era-defining records, which ends at the ‘Vinyl Square’ themed garden.

Chris Berridge, treasurer of the Hayes and Harlington Local History Society, was pleased the community was being included.

“This place has been getting worse for some time and it was becoming an eyesore, so it’s good to see that some thought has gone into what do to here.

“[The developers] have been mindful of the way residents and business people are thinking,” he said.

“You can see that they are trying to make it a proper environment, that people will want to stay in.

“What is lacking is public transport links, so that would need to be put in place to get the most out of it.”

Mike Langan, chairman of Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce, added: “These plans are very exciting for Hayes.

“This will bring this place back to life.

“Hayes has lost all of its entertainment venues over the years, so it could really do with a decent cinema.”

Rob Barton, special projects director at Cathedral Group, part of the Purplexed joint venture, said: “This place is a real diamond in the rough, and in our industry you don’t often get the chance to work on projects like this.

“It can sometimes be hard to get past the vision, but we are well on the way.

The latest planning application is due to be submitted in the summer. The first phase of the project, a residential block called The Gatefold Building, was approved in February.

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