| 17 Jun 2024
Abbey Road unveils ambitious expansion plans, new MD and new studios announced

MUMBAI: Abbey Road Studios is embarking on an ambitious chapter in its illustrious history with the appointment of Isabel Garvey as managing director and the unveiling of a far-reaching programme of investment which includes the creation of three new recording and mixing spaces.

Abbey Road’s new MD brings a wealth of experience in business development and digital transformation to the iconic 83-year-old studios. Having most recently run her own digital media consultancy, Georgestown, Garvey previously spent five years in charge of commercial channels and consumer marketing at Warner Music International and before that was Vice President, Global Digital at EMI Music.

Garvey is joining a team which boasts an extraordinary depth of experience and expertise in sound recording. Abbey Road is home to many of the industry’s most respected recording engineers - Grammy and Bafta winners among them - led by Studio Manager Colette Barber. Head of Mastering Lucy Launder leads an equally eminent team of mastering engineers.

Garvey says, "Abbey Road is steeped in the most incredible history but it also has an exciting future in front of it. World-class sound recording will always be the studios’ core business but there is huge potential for growth and diversification. Getting the chance to help realise this potential, while cherishing the studios’ heritage and reputation, is genuinely a dream job."

Garvey starts at Abbey Road this week reporting to David Sharpe, COO at Universal Music UK which took the studios into its fold in 2012 following the UMG acquisition of EMI.

Universal Music’s promised programme of investment in Abbey Road is now being put into action with Garvey’s appointment coinciding with ambitious development plans for its London NW8 site.

The plans include the creation of two studios designed to make Abbey Road more accessible to new artists plus the construction of a state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos suite to boost its flourishing film score business. Development of the studios’ e-commerce and merchandise business will also play a key part in its future.

Universal Music UK chairman and CEO David Joseph says, "Abbey Road has a history of innovation. By investing in the latest technology alongside the creation of the new studios and exploring fresh avenues for growing the business - while preserving the incredible heritage of Studios One, Two and Three - our plans will ensure Abbey Road continues to be the world’s greatest recording studio."

Jonathan Smith is stepping down from the business and Universal Music would like to thank him for his contribution to Abbey Road’s success as managing director over the past four years.