£20,000 recording studio set to open in market town bank vault

Bob Wright, Mal Gray, Paul Oakes and Annie Abbs of North Walsham Phoenix Group outside the former Ba

Bob Wright, Mal Gray, Paul Oakes and Annie Abbs of North Walsham Phoenix Group outside the former Barclays bank in North Walsham. Photo: North Walsham Phoenix Group - Credit: North Walsham Phoenix Group

Norfolk musicians will soon have a new place to rehearse and record their songs with a £20,000 recording studio set to open in a former bank vault.

North Walsham Phoenix Group is planning to open the studio in the basement of the former Barclays bank in the town's Market Place after acquiring the building in September last year to transform into a youth and community hub.

The group has now received a £20,100 grant from North Walsham Community Shop to fund the studio and its equipment, which is yet to have an opening date.

The former bank vault in North Walsham where a brand new recording studio is set to be built.

The former bank vault in North Walsham where a brand new recording studio is set to be built. - Credit: Wayne Beauchamp

Once open the studio, will be open for bookings from musicians of all genres and could feature a streaming room so live performances could be broadcast from the building.

In the future it is also hoped that the venue will be able to provide various music production related courses.

It is thought the studio will be the first of its kind in the county outside of Norwich.


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North Walsham Phoenix Group chairman Mal Gray said: "We got Wayne Beauchamp and Ron Sayer who play in bands to come down to the vault and put our idea to them and they said it would make an amazing recording studio.

The former bank vault in North Walsham where a brand new recording studio is set to be built.

The former bank vault in North Walsham where a brand new recording studio is set to be built. - Credit: Wayne Beauchamp

"It will be really positive for the town with local musicians able to embrace it, but we envisage we can make it available to disadvantaged people as well because the mental health benefits of music are well documented.

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"It will also secure a revenue stream for our building because bands will hire it as a rehearsal or recording space.

"We could have an educational setting which people could live stream in to help people learn about music without having to be there and obviously we could also live stream events out to venues and also make podcasts on local topics.

The former bank vault in North Walsham where a brand new recording studio is set to be built.

The former bank vault in North Walsham where a brand new recording studio is set to be built. - Credit: Wayne Beauchamp

"We can't thank the community shop enough, their grant will allow us to build this.

"Everybody needs so much help coming out of the other side of this pandemic so it's something positive to hold on to."

The historic vault door in the bank will remain in place despite the new studio with organisers keen to respect the town's heritage.

The former bank vault in North Walsham where a brand new recording studio is set to be built.

The former bank vault in North Walsham where a brand new recording studio is set to be built. - Credit: Wayne Beauchamp

To create the whole community hub, the phoenix group is aiming to raise £150,000, anyone wishing to donate can do so at: https://justgiving.com/campaign/phoenixbuilding?fbclid=IwAR2jJFzmpKsssa4gs0PSrC_KpXsB7zXq7f7dSAqejTKGRPftgethrDoFqq0


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