A BUILDING which stands as a monument to Wearside’s proud mining heritage will ring with the new sound of Sunderland.
The Miners’ Hall in Silksworth has been converted into a professional recording studio as part of the ongoing regeneration of the local landmark.
The venue, which was opened in 1893, was once at the heart of the Silksworth community, acting as a meeting place, a lecture hall, a ballroom and even at one time a boxing venue.
Since the closure of Silksworth Colliery in 1971, the building had become run-down and was subject to squatters and graffiti.
Now James Hutchinson, whose family own the building, is helping to pay homage to its history while giving it a new lease of life.
“The building has been in the family for some time,” he said.
“I used to be in a band called Cries and Wild Eyes when I was younger and we would practice in an old room upstairs before I went away to university to study music production, and I always thought it would be a great place for a music studio.
“The rooms were falling apart and were horrible.
“It’s been a long process renovating it and work is still ongoing. We’re hoping to start work on the front of the building once we have the money.
“It’s been a lot of hard work. It took around 10 months to build the studio, and three months of that was just planning on how we could build sound-proof walls and flooring to make it as professional a studio as possible.
“With the staircase we’ve stripped it back to bring out the original features. We really want it to be an homage to the way the building was.”
The studio, called Miner’s Hall Studio, has just started to operate as a working professional studio.
One of the first acts to record there was East Herrington-based The Lake Poets who recorded their debut single, City by the Sea, in the historic building.
“It’s such a quirky place,” said James.
“The older generation all seem to have had fond memories of the place including my grandma who use to ballroom dance here.
“Local people have seen us coming in and out and have been really interested to see what we’re doing. I feel proud to be able to talk about the history of the building.”
•Anyone interested in hiring the studio can search for it on Facebook under “Miners’ Hall Studio”.