THE former Town Hall in Deptford, London, is alive to the sound of music ? thanks to a £ 25,000 loan from Co-operative Action, the Movement-wide organisation dedicated to supporting co-operatives and social enterprises.
The new tenants are workers' co-operative Music City, a round-the-clock musicians' complex that has provided recording studios and rehearsal rooms from its original premises in New Cross Road, South East London, for the past 12 years.
Now the business is moving to the old Town Hall thanks to the loan which will cover the cost of fitting and refurbishment of the 113 year-old building.
"It's a community resource that we are pleased to support," said Stephen Youd-Thomas of Co-operative Action. "Music City provides much-needed music facilities across the board ? for young children and university students to theatre groups and budding musicians."
The ten-person co-operative has re-wired, built rooms, soundproofed, installed air conditioning, lighting and security equipment as well as disabled toilets.
"We aim to be the best one-stop shop for all musicians," said Music City's Myles Bradley.
"We provide rehearsal and recording facilities, hire out equipment from a cassette recorder to PA gear and have a retail shop where customers can buy anything from a plectrum to a full PA system. There are also facilities for CD duplication and we have a fledgling record label.
"Our customers range from groups of children and people making music on a PlayStation or computer to emerging and professional bands recording demo tapes and CDs. We even have theatre and radio groups requiring sound effects and backing tunes."
Music City's track record of supporting Government self-help initiatives includes the Employment Training? and E Training for Work? schemes and it is planning a training partnership with Lewisham College.
? From 1st December, Music City can be contacted on 020 8691 6666 or visit: www.musiccity.co.uk and: www.co-operativeaction.coop for more details.