When we discovered that Mears (housing and care provider) offer free buildings maintenance works to not-for-profit organisations in their area, we were delighted they were keen to work with us on a long overdue refurbishment of our Canterbury site, West Track Studio. 

West Track Studio has been one of our flagship sites for years, set up as a purpose-built recording and rehearsal studio which houses our Canterbury-based Music, Media and Drama groups. The Studio is run on renewable solar power and a rainwater harvesting system, making it not only an inclusive space for creativity and music in the heart of Canterbury, but also a sustainable one.

With frequent use by energetic musicians and heavy equipment and limited money and time for decorating, both our large and small rooms in the Studio were in desperate need of a refresh. We are great at all pitching in and making the most of what we've got in bemix.... but it is essential to us that we change the impression that people with learning difficulties should and are happy to just make do.

"The Mears team painted the main function room and kitchen and, with the help of an incredibly generous donation from Buildbase of the floor tiles (and without which we could not have completed this project), we renewed the floor to the music room and main function room with carpet tiles. Mears also replaced the kitchen and toilet floor and renewed some of the kitchen cupboards." - Karen Jewell, Regional Customer and Community Manager at Mears

Upgrading the Studio has created a more comfortable, professional and attractive venue. It affirms and expresses the value we place on the quality of our work and the pride we take in what we do.  

In November 2019, we made the difficult decision to close the Studio as a rehearsal facility for local bands and musicians.  However, we are excited to announce that our links with the local music scene will continue through our music industry skills project Amplified

Amplified is an emerging social firm where people with and without learning difficulties and/or autism work closely with the local music scene to put on gigs and promote local music.

People working with Amplified have been very busy contacting bands and venues with the aim of promoting gigs in 2020. Having a fit for purpose and professional Studio to work from is essential in being taken seriously by bands and musicians.  Each gig we promote will include sets from musicians / bands who have learning difficulties; up and coming local bands and more established, touring bands. This will ensure that people with learning difficulties and/or autism are seen and heard as valuable contributors in all aspects of the local music scene.  We are currently in the discussion stages of putting on three gigs featuring some very exciting headliners... Watch this space for further information!

Banner picture - The Mears team with Amplified's Tom Seaton on bass.