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30th Jun, 2022

Town set to welcome star names

Redditch Editorial 18th Sep, 2014 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016

INTERNATIONAL singing superstars could be descending on Redditch as part of an ambitious project to create a rehearsal arena in the town.

Fly By Nite Conferences LTD is planning to build a full scale arena set up and music studio which would be just the third of its kind in the country.

The Lakeside based building will be transformed from the current warehouse to replicate the individual artist’s stage set-up and will have room for the stage, working area, space for loading and unloading equipment as well as space for people to watch.

It means singers such as Kylie Minogue and Pharell Williams can spend between two to four weeks rehearsing and perfecting their shows, while engineers can practise rigging up the stage and taking it down again, before heading out on tour.

The Broad Ground Road unit will be completely soundproofed, with space for recording and practice studios as well as offices and a place to store the company’s concert equipment.

Television and film productions as well as corporate events and product launches could also take place at the site.

Existing studios in London and Wakefield are already used by stars including Robbie Williams, Jay-Z, The Stone Roses and Dizzee Rascal as well as the BBC and ITV.

Outline planning permission for the project was approved by Redditch Borough Council’s planning committee last Wednesday (September 10).

Stuart Vick, representing the applicant, said it was an interesting project which could benefit the town’s economy, provide a world class arena-sized space as well as create extra jobs.

“Arena tours are a must have for bands across the world and travel time is at a premium,” he said.

“There will be singers, dancers, technicians descending on Redditch all that need to be fed.”

A date for work to start has yet to be set but it will take about six months to create.

Coun Michael Braley hailed the plan as a ‘great thing’ for Redditch while Coun Joe Baker offered the use of his house to Blondie’s Debbie Harry if she ever came to the town.

Ros Sidaway, who runs the Vintage Trax record business, is a DJ and is involved in fund-raising for a memorial to Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham in Redditch, said it was a great idea which would put the borough on the musical map.

“With venues like the O2 and the LG arena close by Redditch does seem like the ideal place to have such a facility. It is great to think we could have these internationals artists rehearsing in town. It is another tick in the box for Redditch.”

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