A talented musician is hoping to hit the right notes after the coronavirus pandemic forced him to put the launch of his music studios on hold.
Dave Brown, who worked in London before returning to his native North East, originally opened Big Foot Studios in Horden, East Durham just months before the country was plunged into the first of three lockdowns.
The studios, which are located within the Parkside Club at Horden Welfare Park, are for budding musicians who are keen to develop and the only ones of their kind in the East Durham area.
The national lockdown meant Dave was forced to put his plans to fully establish the studios on hold, and instead focussed on trying to renovate them.
Dave said: “It’s been a tough couple of years as I had taken on the space with my own personal investment, but of course, when lockdown hit, I wasn’t able to generate revenue from the rooms being booked out.
“I had to put everything on hold and decided to instead spend time renovating the building, taking down walls and soundproofing each area so that when restrictions eased, I was ready to go.
“The studios are available to local musicians who need somewhere to rehearse and it’s really my way of giving something back while at the same time doing something I love.
“It’s now pretty much good to go and with a few finishing touches will be the studios I envisaged when I started down this path.”
Dave and the Big Foot Studios have been assisted by East Durham Business Service through the Enterprise Support in the North East ERDF programme and the Covid Recovery Programme, with the support of the East Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP).
Advisor Hina Joshi has worked with Dave over a four-year period – including throughout Covid – to help him launch the business and in recent months has been working with him to revise his marketing plans and get the business ready for bookings.
Hina said: “It was so tough for Dave, having launched the business just three months before Covid hit which forced to close before he’d got the business off the ground.
“However, he’s so passionate about creating these studios for talented musicians in the area that, rather than give up, he instead focussed on some key development work to enhance the studios he had built and the upgrading the premises themselves.
“Now, with our support, he can focus on establishing the business and working towards his goal of providing a creative space that nurtures current and budding musicians as well as sharing with them his experience within the industry.”
Dave, who lives locally, is also keen to thank the teams at
was also able to access help through the Covid Support Fund through Durham County Council and Horden Parish Council.
Dave added: “I’d really like to thank everyone at Horden Parish Council, Durham County Council and East Durham Business Service for all the help they’ve given me to achieve this dream of mine.
“I am really excited for what the future holds. As well as the studio space for musicians in the area, I am also looking at putting on courses for young people and linking in with the schools too.
“Yes, it’s been a tough time and financially, it’s not been easy, but I am feeling so positive now and am really looking forward to welcoming people with a passion for music who can use this space to develop.”
Dave has completely converted the bar area and built a stage with a PA system which will enable artists to perform live gigs and the hosting of comedy clubs and poetry nights, while an outdoor area is also being converted into a BBQ and chill out area.
For more information contact Dave through his Facebook page, Horden Big Foot Studios.