I'll save Abbey Road: Andrew Lloyd Webber promises £30m-plus to buy studios
Interest: Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber has vowed to buy the Abbey Road studios at any cost to preserve its status as the home of British music.
The composer, who has an estimated fortune of £750million, wants to step in and take ownership of the studios in St John's Wood, North-West London, after troubled record group EMI put the building up for sale.
The showbusiness world has launched a full-scale bid to prevent the site being sold to property developers and being bulldozed.
The studios are steeped in history, with the Beatles recording their greatest hits there and featuring the zebra crossing outside on the cover of their Abbey Road album.
Sir Paul McCartney is 'desperate' for the building to remain a working recording studio. The National Trust has also said it is interested in buying it.
EMI is believed to have turned down an offer of just over £30million and yesterday a source close to Lord Lloyd-Webber said: 'Andrew knows that any offer will have to be north of £30million.
'He wants to buy Abbey Road because it is very dear to his heart. When he records there, he uses an orchestra with up to 90 musicians, and there aren't many places you can do that.'
A spokesman for the composer told the Mail: 'Andrew first recorded there in 1967 with Tim Rice and has since recorded most of his musicals there, from Jesus Christ Superstar to his new musical Love Never Dies.
'He thinks it is vital that the studios are saved for the future of the music industry in the UK. Abbey Road has such great facilities, with three major recording studios.'
Musical history: The studio building in St John's Wood
The informal leader of the 'Save Abbey Road' campaign is DJ Chris Evans, who believes the studios should be sold to the National Trust, which already owns both Sir Paul's and John Lennon's childhood homes in Liverpool.
However, McCartney wants the building to continue as a recording studio.
A source close to the former Beatle said: 'Sir Paul is desperate to keep Abbey Road open as a working studio.
'Of course, if that could be married with the National Trust's ownership that would be a good scenario.'
The source ruled out Sir Paul, who lives in St John's Wood, rescuing the property himself, saying he was 'not in the business of buying recording studios'.
Dame Fiona Reynolds, director general of the National Trust, said the charity would be interested in buying the property.
Iconic: The cover of teh Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road
She said: 'We were absolutely bowled over by Chris Evans, Sir Paul McCartney and other people saying the studios really needed to be saved, and could we help.
'The answer is only if people really want us to and only if they help us. So I really want to know what people think.'
She revealed there had already been interest from the U.S. to help the National Trust purchase the site and said she expected support from Japan as well.
She urged pop legends who have recorded at the studios to help the National Trust secure the building for the nation.
She said: 'Not just The Beatles, but Cliff Richard, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and Oasis.
'Maybe they can help us because they are the kind of people who have huge affection for this place.'
Evans is planning to play only records that have been recorded at Abbey Road on his Radio 2 show this morning.
He said: 'All records lead to Abbey Road. We will have a big pre-weekend push in our innocent but sincere efforts to heighten awareness of the importance of saving Abbey Road as a musical landmark.
'The National Trust wants it to happen - and has the power to move mountains - but only if there is public support. So come on, gang, today is the day.'