23.08.2023: In the third of the Here, There and Everywhere series, inspired by the report, UK Music takes a look at Black Bay Studio, a high-end residential recording facility located on an island in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.
The studio prides itself on being the “UK’s most remote recording studio”, accessed via daily flights to Stornoway or ferry services to the mainland.
The studio incorporates spacious and beautifully designed acoustic rooms, a comprehensive equipment list, comfortable accommodation a dedicated team of staff who treat making records as a way of life.
Founder and owner Pete Fletcher shares more about how it began, why people make the journey and why music in the UK is so special.
“Black Bay Studio opened in 2017. It was the product of a 15-year ambition to have a residential studio by the sea. I’ve had other studios in the city before but wanted to escape.
It took a while for the word to get out and to have some clients to build our reputation, but it steadily grew for the first two to three-years. COVID-19 brought a couple of years of disruption, but we’ve been flourishing since.
For our clients it’s an escape, a way to get rid of any distractions and be somewhere inspiring to indulge in their creative process. It’s also a really great studio. We have a lot more space than most studios, particularly in our budget range, plus big windows with the ocean on the doorstep.
The location is stunning plus the whole idea of a long journey and ferry to a remote, storm-battered island, is appealing to folk making an album, which is a big deal. You don’t get to do it many times in a lifetime and so it’s making that more of an experience and an adventure.
We have had a few visitors from outside the UK, including Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, USA, Estonia, France. They love it. It’s such an alien environment compared to anywhere else. It’s a similar experience whether you’re coming from Brussels or from London, it’s a total perspective changer. Less so for Highland and Island-based bands, of course, but they come because they like to be connected to the place that has inspired their music.
When setting up the studio we received funding from the Scottish Government Agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and from LEADER (Local council administered European funding). Together with our own investment, this paid for the redevelopment of the fish factory into the recording studio. There is no way we could have ever dreamt of achieving what we have without that funding, and HIE have continued to support us by offering additional match funding when we’ve taken on additional developments.”
For further information on Black Bay Studio visit the website: Black Bay Studio | Recording at the Edge of the World
Read more about Here, There and Everywhere, the report on music tourism, here.
Read more about how local governments can create music powerhouses here.Back to news