Published date 17 August 2022

Mayor bangs drum for Bristol music studio

Metro Mayor Dan Norris and Conal Kelly of Factory Studios behind a drum kit

Metro Mayor Dan Norris met some of Bristol’s budding band members as he found out how £15,000 from the West of England Combined Authority that he leads is helping the next generation of musicians to succeed.

The Mayor toured Factory Studios on Maze Street and even met homegrown heroes Idles who were practicing there during his visit.

For fifteen years, Factory Studios has operated from their Barton Hill Trading Estate home. The cotton mill factory-turned-music studio features rehearsal rooms, recording and writing rooms. Bristol bands including Portishead, Massive Attack as well as Idles have all played there. Factory studios have been supported by the West of England Combined Authority's Creative Scale Up and Creative Sector Growth programmes; receiving £9,000 in mentoring grants. They’ve also received a £6,000 Business Growth Grant.

The Metro Mayor met director Sol Curry who explained how the Combined Authority's support will help them provide a band development scheme giving young Bristolians looking to break into the industry, 1-2-1 mentorship and free access to the Factory recording studios.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris, who also had a go playing the drums, said: “I am delighted that £15,000 from the West of England Combined Authority which I lead is helping local musicians to never miss a beat. The West of England is a region of innovation and creativity. It’s inspiring to meet talented people making music and putting the region on the map”.

Factory Studios director Sol Curry said: “This year we celebrate 15 years since Factory Studios opened its doors to Bristol’s creative community. We are very proud of what we’ve achieved during that time and are massively excited to be taking our studios onto the next stage. From a music studio with humble beginnings, we have now expanded our services to include a film and photography studio, DJ rooms and podcast studios and are now perfectly placed to reach out to an even wider demographic of creators, makers and do-ers in this most vibrant of cities. Without a doubt the support and funding we have received from the West of England Combined Authority has played a vital part in our growth post pandemic.”

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