MUSICIANS and artists from Liverpool have sent a defiant message to singer Phil Collins, who plans to turn their city centre haven into an apartment block.
Collins, who, along with two other members of the rock band Genesis, owns Parr Street Studios through their Hit and Run company, has applied for planning permission to convert the building into 41 luxury flats.
Now owners of the hub of businesses based there say they want to meet with the singer to discuss buying the property themselves.
Parr Street is the biggest recording studio outside London and in its dozen years in operation has produced three Grammy awards through the work of producer Ken Nelson with Coldplay, and attracted other huge names such as Diana Ross, New Order, Pulp and The Charlatans.
The building houses a host of music production and graphic design companies, the popular 3345 Parr Street Restaurant and a private members' club..
Liverpool's cultural community says the closure of the building would be a huge blow to the city, particularly in the run up to 2008.
And in an ironic twist, many of the creative professionals who work in the centre helped the city with its Capital of Culture bid.
Singer and producer Thomas Lang, who produced the Capital of Culture video, said: "We are not naive enough to think we have the power to stop them selling the building.
"But we want to speak to Phil Collins as a group of creative people speaking to another creative person to discuss the possibility of buying the building ourselves.
"They want planning permission to turn the building into flats, but they probably won't even do that. They just know that planning permission will add a lot of money to its value.
Mr Lang added: "There is a huge gulf between us and Phil Collins. There is their management company, the council and the planning agent. I doubt if he knows personally what is going on in this building."