Funding hits the right note for South City Studios’ growth

Loz O'Connor
Fund Manager
South City Studios

South Manchester’s premier pre-production and rehearsal facility, South City Studios is expanding after using a six-figure loan from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF).

Established in 2017, South City Studios, formerly called The Stockport Studios, is located in Pear Mill, Stockport. Following strong financial performance over the last two years, the business was able to fund the development of additional studio spaces at their existing location, increasing overall capacity to 15 permanent rooms that can be hired on a monthly basis and a further four rooms available for flexible bookings.   

The NPIF - FW Capital investment will support plans to accelerate further growth following the acquisition of additional space at Welkin Mill, Stockport, close to their existing studios. The owners of the business plan to create additional rehearsal studios as well as a new 500 capacity pre-production room for artists to rehearse and record in a venue setting. This is the first pre-production room available in the North of England and provides private VIP facilities for the artists and their sound and lighting technicians to prepare for live gigs and tours. It is anticipated that the investment will create two additional jobs and help the rebranding to South City Studios.


Paul Bowe, Director of South City Studios said: “ We’re proud to open and bring something global to the South Manchester area, making our mark in a unique way with a high end pre-production room. We’re meeting increased demand and have welcomed some high profile names through our doors including Johnny Marr who has also been involved as a project consultant, Elbow, Blossoms, and Fuzzy Sun. It was also the right time to change our name from The Stockport Studios to South City Studios to reflect our growth and national identity.”

“This is a unique project, not your everyday investment opportunity and the team at FW Capital have shown great interest and confidence in South City Studios and recognised our potential. Loz and his team’s attention to detail worked in tandem with their can-do attitude.”

Loz O’Connor, FW Capital’s Fund Manager led the investment which was introduced to Paul Bowe by Geoff Clowes from the G C Business Growth Hub, Access to Finance team.

Loz O’Connor, FW Capital’s Fund Manager, said: “ It’s great to support a business in the creative sector, especially in the Greater Manchester area which has a rich musical heritage. It is often difficult for the sector to obtain lending support from mainstream providers, but with Access to Finance advice via Geoff Clowes, South City Studios is a great example of a dynamic company growing organically and looking for additional funding from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund to help it take the next growth step.”

Sean Hutchinson at the British Business Bank, said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund champions ambitious businesses from all sectors. It’s great to see a creative studio making its mark on the region and nation through business expansion and job creation. Aspiring businesses like South City Studios help transform the region into an entrepreneurial powerhouse, and the NPIF- FW Capital investment will open the doors to the company’s further success.”

FW Capital can provide loans in the NPIF region with a focus on Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and the Tees Valley.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.