Europe’s first solar powered recording studio has won a prestigious prize at the Music Week Awards in London. Bee hives on the roof are among the many attractions at The Premises.
Based in East London, it has been the capital’s most popular music studio complex for 25 years. With photovoltaic solar panels on its roof The Premises has been designed to be energy efficient.
It houses 14 high-specification, low-cost music studios for rehearsal and recording and is used by UK stars like Lily Allen, the Arctic Monkeys, the Klaxons, Leonie Lewis, Tinie Tempah and Razorlite.
It was nominated for the Julie's Bicycle Green Business Award alongside venues Koko Camden, The Sage Gateshead, Firefly Solar, Wood Festival and the NEC Birmingham.
Other winners, at the event held at the Roundhouse, included Concorde2, of Brighton, as Best Venue, SJM Concerts as Best Live Promotions Team and T-in-the-Park won Best Festival.
Ex-EMI music giant boss Tony Wadsworth, chair of Julie’s Bicycle, presented the award made from sustainably sourced wood, in recognition of the winner's:
- Implementation and success of environmental initiatives
- Management support and overall staff commitment to sustainability
- Methods used to track environmental impacts
- Relationships with and influence on audiences, customers, suppliers and other clients
- New and original campaigns and ideas
The Premises launched Europe’s first solar powered recording studio in 2005. It was built using 80 per cent reclaimed and recycled materials, fitted with a low energy SSL console and insulated so well that it never requires heating, even in sub-zero conditions.
Last year it established a bee-keeping project on the roof of the studios with The Golden Company (an organisation working with disadvantaged young people).
Alison Tickell, director of Julie's Bicycle, said, “The Premises took the initiative to go green well before it became common place, and they were the first commercial studio in the UK to install solar panels."
She added: “Proving that engaging with issues of public concern can be a business win, they used a government grant to speed up their investment payback, and have used their green credentials to give them a marketing edge. They have also successfully campaigned for better renewable power incentives that benefit the music industry, as well as UK homes and businesses more broadly.
Tickell commented that it was also impressive the way The Premises had used their solar panels and more recent initiatives like their beehives to engage with artists, other studio users and young people in their Hackney community and that this was a really important step whose impact could not be underestimated.
She said: “By seizing the business opportunities while making the ethical choice, The Premises is a powerful example of the opportunities that environmental sustainability offers: an ethical business base that will sustain it into the future.”
Premises managing director Julia Craik, said: “We are delighted to receive the first Julie's Bicycle Green Business Award. We aim to combine solid business sense with real environmental action and this award is recognition that our model works. Julie's Bicycle is a great organisation and their endorsement is a real honour."
Michael Gubbins, content director of Music Week, said: “Music Week is proud to have worked with Julie’s Bicycle to launch the Green Business Award, and we consider it to be one of the most important of the Music Week Awards. Premises Studios has set an example which we expect to see followed by a great many other companies, in an industry which is becoming increasingly engaged with environmental sustainability as a core business priority.”