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Save Parr Street Recording Studios.

Published: Sun May 28, 2006  News Feed

Thomas Lang
Parr Street Recording Studios.
L1 4JN

07801 433 256

Tuesday 23rd May 2006

Dear Dolphin,

It is with heavy heart that I am writing to ask that you air this letter in your paper/ website/ radio station.

I represent the tenants and the business consortium that put together a plan to save the famous Parr Street Studios in Liverpool, a Grammy Award winning studio for its work with Coldplay. Other artists that have worked here include, Doves, Embrace, Elbow, Badly Drawn Boy, and so many more.

We have all worked in this studio since it opened 12 years ago.

The tenants, who include Oxygen Music Management, for Ken Nelson (Coldplay producer), Porcupine Music who manage Echo and the Bunnymen, Sense of Sound (vocal training), Plastic (graphic design) working with Aintree Racecourse, and 3345, creative industries members club (8500 members and awarded 3rd best members’ club in the country by Arena magazine).

In November 2005, the tenants and the free-lance engineers at the studio found out that the owners - The Genesis pension fund (Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks and Tony Smith) had decided to cash in on Liverpool's Capital of Culture 2008 status, by submitting a planning application to turn our studio and work place into luxury apartments.However, they don't intend to develop the site themselves but use this as an opportunity to increase the value of the property with planning consent attached.

We met with the managing director of Hit and Run Music, Robin Moore on 13th January, 2006 at Parr Street and, at that meeting, the tenants were promised that if we raised £1.3 Million that would save the studio.

A consortium was formed, Gary Millar, Steve Macfarlane and myself, whereupon Heads of Terms and a contract were issued, and all the tenants relaxed a little.

Mr Michael Hole of Miles Commercial, the agent for the disposal then got involved and pushed the price up another £50,000. With great difficulty we managed to raise the extra funds, were told that we had a deal, and a second contract was issued.

We have been waiting to exchange contracts for 12 weeks. Yesterday we were told that, based on a purported slanderous rumour, Michael Hole had advised the trustees of the Genesis Pension Fund that our intention was to resell the building for £2million and therefore they should not to sell to us.


I have to add that this is not about us - its about the Studio. The bigger picture is about Music, Culture, Awards, Pedigree, Employment, Growth, Regional and International Excellence, Morals and being an absolutely fantastic facility - possibly being lost and overshadowed by Greed, Self Interest, Unsavory Tactics, Profits and Bully Boy Business Ethics.

Not only are we upset at what has become a farce, the waste of all of our significant time, but more so we are all upset that our characters appear to have been openly besmirched and that their apparent greed has run roughshod over business ethics. We have to add that this has serious implications for the tenants, since they own successful businesses at Parr Street and many may now lose their livelihood! We don’t intend to purchase the building to sell on, to knock down or to build flats. Our intention is to save a cultural icon and to also maintain the studios the creative cluster of companies that the studios house and create employment and businesses.

Mr Hole is now putting the property back on the open market however, he has verbally agreed that if we cough up £1.6 Million the studios are ours! This of course totally contradicts his previous advice to the trustees.

We cannot possibly afford it nor justify that price, based on the fact that we had been ‘promised’ that our offer of £1.35 would save the studios.

We feel that Messrs Collins, Banks, and Rutherford can’t possibly know how ‘their’ agent is operating, given the fact that they are all musicians they would never want to close a recording studio, and our place of work, losing jobs and opportunities for young musicians.

We believe that they are closing the studio next week, 31st May, and intend to have us all out by end of June 2006.

We would really appreciate it if you would publish this letter, which we hope may help get the attention of any member of Genesis and elicit their help, as we are confident that they have no idea what their agents are up to.

Please help.

Thomas Lang. Musician

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