news category General News created 2 April 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus: Advice for Recording Studios and Production Rooms

We’ve become aware of a number of different scenarios that apply to producers, engineers and mixers who either run their own commercial recording studio or are based in a rented production room. As well as the following suggestions The MPG are continuing to push central governent for a business rates holiday for all recording studios.

These guidelines are intended to cover the majority of situations that have come to light, but if you find your particular set of circumstances are not reflected below, please do get in touch via

Small Business Grant Scheme

Studios that qualify for Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) are eligible for a grant of £10,000 through the Small Business Grant Scheme. Usually this applies to businesses with a rateable value of less than £15,000, but there are other circumstances under which businesses can receive it. If in doubt refer to your business rates bill from your local council.

If your studio or production room pays a share of business rates through the landlord rather than receiving a bill directly, then unfortunately this grant will not be accessible to you.

This scheme will be administered by local councils who will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Rateable Values above £15,000

We recommend writing to your local council’s business rates division and copying in your council cabinet member for culture. Some studios have been granted business rates holidays to help them during the current crisis. Remember to emphasise:

  • How much your business has been affected/Why you have been forced to close
  • The cultural value of your business
  • How large a network of musicians and/or producers your studio supports
  • What the permanent closure of your business would mean to the local area

Rental Payments To Your Landlord

There is currently a ban on commercial evictions for missed payment of rent in effect until 30th June, which will provide some short term protection for tenants. However this does not remove the liability to pay the rent further down the line, so if you find yourself at risk of not making your rent payment on time we recommend opening a conversation with your landlord at the earliest opportunity. Most landlords would rather keep good tenants in place than go through the trouble and expense of finding new ones. Points to consider:

  • Discuss the possibility of a payment holiday or rent reduction for the period that your business is disrupted. How much of a reduction to ask for is down to your individual circumstances.
  • If your landlord is in line to receive a Small Business Grant you might ask if they are willing to fund a rent reduction or holiday for you. You can check the ratable value of an address using this tool on the UK government website.
  • Talk to other tenants in your building about the situation. Whilst everyone’s individual circumstances are different you will likely find others in the same boat.

Other means of support

  • If you are self-employed/sole trader you are likely entitled to income support based on your PROFITS for the previous 3 tax years. Please see our dedicated self-employment guidelines for more details. You are able to continue working whilst claiming income support as as self employed individual.
  • If you operate as a Limited Company but pay yourself some of your income as a salary through PAYE, you can furlough yourself and claim 80% of your wages back from the government in the form of a grant. You cannot continue to carry out paid work whilst on furlough but can carry out statutory duties.
  • Currently nothing can be claimed against income in the form of dividends, however the MPG continues to press the government for much greater support support for producers, engineers and mixers who pay themselves this way.
  • There are also several Emergency Hardship Funds for music professionals suffering financial hardship details of which can be found here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

We have had reports that some members haven’t been able to access the government’s 12-months interest free Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and been offered commercial products with high interest rates instead . The business secretary has promised to address this, and that there should be no requirement for businesses to have been rejected from all commercial loans before they qualify for the CBILS product. Please do get in touch if you are having trouble accessing this from your bank, as we are collating this information and feeding it back to the government.…

Do Let us know if you are having difficulties accessing any of the hardship funds or bank loans.




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