You may have noticed our prices have increased by a few pence per hour?
As a business supporting so many people in most sectors across the arts, this is not a decision that we take lightly and we’ve increased by the smallest amount possible.
To keep our price increase well under the rate of inflation (and the impacts of the cost of living, electricity bills etc) this is how we’ve done it:
- postponing our room refurbishments for review in 6 months (Sept 2023). We concluded that, although the rooms are showing their age (room one for example hasn’t had a full refurbishment since it was built 20 years ago- though it has been decorated every 2 years) they are actually fully functional and enjoyed by users.
- postponing our gear upgrades for review in 12 months. Our Pearl Masters kits still sound stunning, despite being well and truly vintage – they have held their sound quality perfectly. They are, however aesthetically not in the condition that they once were. We only buy high end gear exactly because it lasts and sounds great throughout its life. We’re also postponing the purchase of some guitar cabs – which is a regular request of quite a few studio users.
- Reducing our costs. We’ve fully automated the online booking system, which although it worked before – it is now far more streamlined in the backend – which saves us time and cost. The new system however has taken us 4 months to build and get right – with many hiccups along the way – all of this costs a lot in the short term – in consultants, trial periods and license fees, but in the long-term has meant we don’t need to increase the cost as much to reflect this investment as things are more highly automated. We only ever heat the rooms we’re using over winter months – and in summer air con is only used when required by users. As an award winning sustainable business, these are part of our sustainability credentials which we take really seriously.
- Reducing our margins. To keep the increase small, we’ve reduced our percentage to swallow some of the increase. This is only a short term solution to prevent higher prices being passed onto you, the end user, but we hope as energy prices stabalise, and our rooms once again fill up (as audiences return to venues STILL well under pre-pandemic levels) that as a small business, we’ll be in a strong position to begin re-investing properly in the arts.
We’d love your contribution to this conversation, so please do get in touch if you’ve any creative ideas to help us keep our costs down, or provide a better/different service to you.
If you are unable to afford rehearsals – or are struggling. We regularly work with Help Musicians UK to support musicians going through difficult seasons, and they are an incredible support if you need it. We also have a free monthly drop in called Space to Talk which is a free listening service open for ANYONE – here at Crown Lane – normally on the last Thursday of the month – but please get in touch and we’ll give you the exact dates. ^John Merriman (Mar 1st 2023)