Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) has officially opened a new state-of-the-art rehearsal and recording area following funding support from theRoyal Bank of Scotland and Lombard.

The world’s largest BOXY Pod system is set to transform the RNCM recording studio at the former Studio Theatre with a £1million asset finance package to assist the creation and fitting out of the studio and associated work.

Earlier this year the RNCM announced its plans for the project which has involved the conversion of the space, previously used for small-scale productions and concerts, into a designated student area with a particular focus on popular music. Work has been undertaken by Amadeus Acoustic Solutions and includes the installation of a 12m x 11m x 4m BOXY pod incorporating a fully-equipped recording studio. The refurbishment will enable RNCM musicians to comfortably create and capture amplified and electronic music.

The launch of the BOXY pod follows the College’s recent £7.1 million redevelopment which overhauled the building’s 40-year-old Concert Hall and backstage areas to include new air-conditioning and heating system, new flooring and seating, advanced technical facilities and lighting, and a new balcony and raised floor area to considerably increase capacity.

Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, said: ‘‘The RNCM has an ongoing commitment to enhance the experience of its students, enabling them to work flexibly within and across different musical genres and to create and capture innovative new work that can drive the art form forward. We already pride ourselves on offering exceptional performance opportunities to everyone who studies here, and transforming our former Studio Theatre into a high specification performance and recording space is another step to ensure the College remains at the forefront of music education nationally and internationally.”

Stephen Lee, Relationship Director at the Royal Bank of Scotland said: “This is a fantastic project and is great for the RNCM and Manchester in raising the global profile of the College and the city. I have worked with my colleague Andy Bailey in Lombard to tailor a funding solution to support this exciting and unique project and we are delighted to be involved with the official launch. Inspiring musicians will benefit hugely from the new state of the art studio and the world’s largest BOXY modular system.”

The first event to take place in the new studio was a popular music masterclass with Pete Waterman, who will receive Fellowship of the RNCM in December.

Located in the heart of Manchester, the RNCM is a leading international conservatoire and thriving live music venue, with a reputation for attracting talented students, teachers, conductors, composers and artists from all over the world.

Founded in 1973 through the merger of the Royal Manchester College of Music and Northern School of Music, the RNCM is home to around 320 teaching staff and over 800 students from 60 different countries. Each year the College presents in excess of 400 live performances, ensuring RNCM students receive unparalleled opportunities to perform regularly to public audiences and to work alongside professional musicians.

Pictured: left to right: Andy Bailey – Lombard, Stephen Lee – Royal Bank of Scotland and Professor Linda Merrick – RNCM

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