The Silk Mill Recording Studios are based within a grade II listed mill in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire.
The original Silk Mill was built in 1815 by Samuel Henshall and William Lester, and was the first of three silk mills built in the town. At the mill’s height it employed about 150 people, 100 of whom were under the age of 18, and 40 of whom were under the age of 12! They worked long 13 hour days from 6 in the morning until 7 in the evening.
In 1844 the silk mill was converted into a steam corn mill, and was still occupied as the Albion Flour Mill at the time of the 1878 Ordnance Survey Map.
Today the building has been divided up into Silk Mill House (offices), Sill Mill Studios (The Silk Mill Recording Studios and Alive Network Entertainment Agency) and 23-27 March Parade (offices and a beauty therapy centre).
Many original features survive, including the distinctive arched windows and doorways from which our studio logo is derived.
Silk Mill Recording Studios occupy the entire ground floor of an outrigger section of the building, enjoying it’s own private car park, courtyard and secure gated entrance from Princess Street. The studio’s two lounge areas spill into 23 Marsh Parade, a part of the original silk mill who’s frontage is accessed from Marsh Parade.
Our parent company Alive Network moved it’s offices into the ground floor of silk mill studios (confusingly the original name of the building before a recording studio even existed here!) in October 2004. A small recording studio was built around 2007, being upgraded into our current SSL mix room in March 2013. By the end of 2014 Alive Network had taken the lease for the entire silk mill studios building (including additional rooms in 23 Marsh Parade) and moved their office HQ onto the larger upper floor area. In March 2015 we began construction of our Neve tracking room and live room spaces which now occupy the entire ground floor.
In August 2015 the decision was made to market the recording studio under a separate identity from parent company Alive Network, and the recording studio was rebranded as The Silk Mill.
Alive Network and The Silk Mill Recording Studios are owned by David Bevan. Dave was a professional guitarist for 8 years before establishing Alive Network in 1999. He also manages the world renowned finger-style guitar player Pierre Bensusan.
Alive Network is the UK’s largest live entertainment agency employing over 5000+ musicians. The company books live music for 10,000+ private events each year worth over £10 Million. Clients include EMI, Abbey Road, AEG Live, Red Bull, Virgin, BBC, Pinewood Studios, Hard Rock Cafe, Google & Microsoft. Alive Network aims to empower grass roots musicians to support themselves financially through regular paid live performance, whilst encouraging and developing talent through it’s production services – which includes the recording studio.