Close ☰
Menu ☰

UK recording studios face closure without government support

Posted on: Wednesday 13th of May 2020

The Music Producers Guild  has surveyed the UK studio sector to discover the full extent of the impact during the Covid-19 lockdown. Their research indicates 48% of commercial recording studios could go out of business within three months, unless they receive further support from the government.

“The UK has some of the finest recording studios in the world, but unless the government steps in with immediate support, half of those studios won’t be around when things get back to normal, and the knock-on effects on the wider industry will be disastrous,” said MPG executive director Olga FitzRoy. “We welcome the new grant announced on 10th May, but we have yet to see the details. The Culture Secretary recently said he wanted to protect ‘core architecture’ in the creative industries. If studios like Dean Street, where Bowie recorded Ashes to Ashes aren’t considered worth saving, then I don’t know what is.”

Dean Street Studio have revealed that without additional help from the government they will only survive until the end of May. The studios have played host to sessions by David Bowie, The Smiths, and Tina Turner and more recently Florence and the Machine and Adele. Jasmin Lee, managing director, Dean Street Studios, said: ‘Studios seem to be bottom of the food chain in the music industry, always being beaten down on rates. For those of us who are independent, it’s always hand to mouth on the finances. Many of us have put our life savings into starting our studios and keeping our doors open.’

Among engineers and producers who rent production rooms, the risk of closure seems even higher, with 73% saying that they will have to close in the near future without more support. Currently many are relying on landlords and local authorities to provide discounts on rent and rates.

Discussing government-backed loans that were made available early on in the COVID-19 crisis, FitzRoy continued: “I know of no studios who have been able to access a loan. Banks are refusing to lend, or only offering commercial packages at interest rates of 18-20%. And many are put off by needing to pay commercial rates after twelve months and are contemplating closing their business rather than running up debts they can’t repay”.

The new ‘bounce back’ loan scheme announced by the UK government in May is indeed a step in the right direction, but the government should realistically increase the interest-free period to 24 months to give studios and engineers “a fighting chance of recovery”, Fitzroy concluded.

Apply for a UK coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

mpg.org.uk



Latest News & Blog articles

  • German studio specialist Neumann.Berlin and Swiss company Merging Technologies – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-resolution digital audio recording systems – will now be working together under the umbrella of the Sennheiser group. Sennheiser has taken over the shares of Merging Technologies entirely. With this step, Neumann.Berlin plan to  enlarge its range of […]
  • London-based Twickenham Film Studios (TFS), world class home to filmed entertainment since the silent era, performed the final sound mix for Paramount Pictures’ blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick working in collaboration with Skywalker Sound. The mix was facilitated against the odds in the height of the global pandemic and proved the template for major productions to […]
  • La Casamurada studio in Penedès, Spain, has expanded its monitoring capabilities with a pair of Genelec The Ones 8361 three-way coaxial monitors. The residential studio has built its reputation on delivering a unique experience for artists that draws on all the acoustic benefits of its historic location, while also offering a thoroughly modern technical environment. […]
  • Antelope Audio has introduced a major addition to the functionality set of the Galaxy 32 Synergy Core [review Resolution V21.6] surround and immersive audio monitoring control and speaker calibration functionality. This addition to the flagship interface allows its users to configure and control a surround/immersive monitoring setup of up to 16 channels, or 9.1.6 Dolby Atmos. […]
  • Lectrosonics announced the introduction of the DSR and DSR5P dual-channel and DSR4 quad-channel digital slot receivers. The new receivers are compatible with all the current Lectrosonics mono and stereo digital transmitters and are backward compatible with any of the Digital Hybrid Wireless® transmitters made in the past 20 years. The DSR and DSR5P receivers provide two […]
  • Have Warm Audio saved the best until last? WA‑CX12 is a large-diaphragm tube condenser based on one of the world’s most sought-after microphones, the AKG C12. [A version of which, the C12 VR, is still available from the Harman-owned AKG brand for $6,989]. “The C12, a valve operated condenser, was a marvellous mic”, said Beatles-producer George Martin. […]
  • Expanding on its 30-year relationship with Calrec to satisfy its complex audio needs, OB and technical services provider EMG UK has turned to the company to equip its latest Remote Operations Centre (ROC) in Stratford, London. The installation means that EMG UK continues to use Calrec equipment in all of its UK-based outside broadcast work. […]
  • Production sound mixer Jeff McLain’s Lectrosonics wireless kit consists of three dual-channel SRc Digital Hybrid Wireless receivers, SMWB wideband, LT, and LMb transmitters. He spoke about how Lectrosonics stood up to the rigours of one of the harshest environments he’s worked in — a minerals mine nine stories underground — and other productions. “This was for […]
Translate »