Ten87 Studios (external link) provide creative workspace for music and sound.They currently operate out of Markfield Road in South Tottenham and run 32 studios across two sites.
The OIF loan enabled them to expand onto the second site in Tottenham, refurbishing a vacant warehouse, creating more commercial floorspace and recording studios, co-working space and event space.
They have now received a second OIF loan which will be used to finance more studios on a third site.
We met with Rob Burn, Producer/Director at Ten87 Studios to discuss how the OIF has helped him.
Why the name?
It’s the speed of sound in feet per second. And it’s also the month and year I was born.
We were coming to warehouse parties in Tottenham a decade ago and we discovered an amazing artistic community here. And what also drew us was the fact this area felt real and detached from the kind of gentrification happening in Hackney. It’s more affordable than other places and it’s very important our clients can get into town quickly. The location of Tottenham Hale/Seven Sisters works really well in term of transport links and it’s just going to keep getting better. I would recommend that other businesses move to Tottenham 100%.
How did you hear about the Opportunity Investment Fund?
Our landlord – Nick Hartwright from the Mill Co. Project – said, “You guys should have a look at this because I think you’ll be good for it”. So it just carried on from there really.
What has the OIF money been used for?
To get this place up and running. It was for the fit-out of our second site here in Markfield Road and it’s pretty much all of the acoustics and the sound-proofing for the studios.
How have you found working with Haringey Council on the loan and wider business support?
They have been very supportive of what was a pretty major scheme here. To be honest it was a bit of a minefield for a couple of producers who have never embarked on any kind of business venture before. So it was amazing to have the regeneration team and the planning team so supportive of what we were doing. And they are always there for us if we need more support.
How did you find the OIF application process?
I found applying for the Opportunity Investment Fund relatively easy. In the past we have had to do various pitches and all kinds of stuff but that wasn’t the case with Haringey Council who were far more understanding.
And the experience was so good you’ve applied for a second batch of OIF money?
Yes! And we’re about to sign a lease on a site around the corner from here. That’s just under 3,000 sq foot and we’ll be building ten production studios in there to take us to a total of 42 studios – all in this area of south Tottenham.
What do you like in particular about the OIF?
The reasons behind it are really positive, such as promoting regeneration in this part of the borough and giving young people a foot on the ladder. We approached different financial institutions to loan us money for our expansion and we were turned down but the council understood that what we were doing would benefit the wider community, and because of that they were willing to loan us a fairly substantial amount of money to aid our expansion.
Have you recommended the OIF to other businesses?
We recommended it to Five Miles, which share a space with us, and I’m always singing its praises wherever possible. In fact I would recommend it to any young business or a business looking to create jobs or start up. It’s an incredible thing and they should definitely check it out.
Tell us some more about Ten87…
Originally I was a producer myself and that’s the reason why I set this business up; I needed a space to produce in. And now the best thing about this job is the people and getting to connect with some of the most respected names in music. I do get a massive buzz out of watching other people that I really respect produce in spaces that I’ve created.
Leases here can run from three months to two or three years depending on the individual’s needs. So our model is slightly different from the traditional recording studio model of hiring for a period of hours or a few days. This brings the cost right down so people can be here for longer and have continuity over a period of weeks.
And that’s our biggest selling point – we’re creating communities of producers. You’ve got all these creative people in a musical village type scenario who are able to network and collaborate. What’s also gratifying is hearing comments from world-renowned acousticians who agree that, for the money they spend, we provide some of the best rooms in London.