Funding deal hits the right note for expanding recording studios

Back: Loz O’Connor, Sean Hutchinson, Geoff Clowes. Front: Paul Bowes

Funding support will enable a South Manchester studios to open the first venue-style recording facility in the North.

South City Studios, a pre-production and rehearsal facility, is expanding after using a six-figure loan from NPIF-FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

Established in 2017, South City Studios, formerly called The Stockport Studios, is located in Pear Mill, Stockport.

Following strong financial performance over the past two years, the business was able to fund the development of additional studio spaces at its existing location, increasing overall capacity to 15 permanent rooms that can be hired on a monthly basis and a further four rooms available for flexible bookings.

The NPIF-FW Capital investment will support plans to accelerate further growth following the acquisition of additional space at Welkin Mill, Stockport, close to the existing studios.

The owners of the business plan to create additional rehearsal studios as well as a new 500-capacity pre-production room for artists to rehearse and record in a venue setting.

This is the first pre-production room available in the North of England and provides private VIP facilities for the artists and their sound and lighting technicians to prepare for live gigs and tours. It is anticipated that the investment will create two additional jobs and help the rebranding to South City Studios.

Paul Bowe, director of South City Studios, said: “We’re proud to open and bring something global to the South Manchester area, making our mark in a unique way with a high end pre-production room.

“We’re meeting increased demand and have welcomed some high profile names through our doors including Johnny Marr who has also been involved as a project consultant, Elbow, Blossoms, and Fuzzy Sun. It was also the right time to change our name from The Stockport Studios to South City Studios to reflect our growth and national identity.”

He added: “This is a unique project, not your everyday investment opportunity and the team at FW Capital have shown great interest and confidence in South City Studios and recognised our potential. Loz and his team’s attention to detail worked in tandem with their can-do attitude.”

Loz O’Connor, FW Capital’s fund manager, led the investment which was introduced to Paul Bowe by Geoff Clowes from the GC Business Growth Hub, Access to Finance team.

Loz O’Connor said: “It’s great to support a business in the creative sector, especially in the Greater Manchester area which has a rich musical heritage.

“It is often difficult for the sector to obtain lending support from mainstream providers, but with Access to Finance advice via Geoff Clowes, South City Studios is a great example of a dynamic company growing organically and looking for additional funding from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to help it take the next growth step.”

Sean Hutchinson, at the British Business Bank, said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund champions ambitious businesses from all sectors. It’s great to see a creative studio making its mark on the region and nation through business expansion and job creation. Aspiring businesses like South City Studios help transform the region into an entrepreneurial powerhouse, and the NPIF-FW Capital investment will open the doors to the company’s further success.”

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