In the groove: Scotland goes big with vinyl revival amid plans for Glasgow pressing plant

Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr describes Rockvinyl as “the missing piece of the jigsaw”.

Plans for a new record pressing plant in Scotland will take a step forward next week when its backers push the button on a £1.75 million crowdfunding campaign.

The Rockvinyl start-up, which is said to have gathered industry support from the likes of Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr, has already secured premises in the east end of Glasgow, making the operation Glasgow’s first ever vinyl pressing plant, and only Scotland’s second.

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The move follows increased demand for what was once considered a moribund music format. However, sales of long-playing records have defied expectations in recent years amid a vinyl revival and the decades-old technology now sits alongside streaming as one of the most popular ways to consume music.

The Rockvinyl start-up has already secured premises in the east end of Glasgow.The Rockvinyl start-up has already secured premises in the east end of Glasgow.
The Rockvinyl start-up has already secured premises in the east end of Glasgow.

Rockvinyl’s funding campaign is due to launch on February 20 with the aim of raising £1.75m from “vinyl record aficionados” and the investing public in a public share issue, with shares priced at £5 each. The proceeds from the share issue will be applied to financing the capital costs associated with the construction of the company’s three vinyl pressing machines and infrastructure costs associated with the installation. The venture is scheduled to open for business this spring.

It is anticipated that the company will begin taking orders from late spring and pressing from early summer 2024. The plant has a target run of 60,000 records per month when up and running. In addition, Rockvinyl said it was committed to supporting emerging artists, which it will do through its “Fan Funded Vinyl” initiative. This crowdfund platform that will launch in spring will allow emerging musicians to promote the crowdfunding of their vinyl LPs to their fan bases.

David Brady, a former graphic designer and print specialist, will take the helm as managing director of Rockvinyl, supported by an experienced board of non-executive directors that includes Mark Mackie, the chief executive of Regular Music; Mark Wilson, former band manager of artists including Orange Juice, The Bluebells and Trashcan Sinatras; and experienced investors David Low, Peter McGowan and Denis Kinane.

Brady said: “We are extremely excited to announce our Rockvinyl crowdfunder and to begin pressing vinyl in our Glasgow pressing plant later this year. 2023 was an incredible year for vinyl record sales, with the growing global demand showing little sign of letting up. In addition to working with global record companies, well known independent labels and artists, we are very much looking forward to giving more breakthrough artists the chance to monetise their music, many for the first time, through vinyl records.”

Jim Kerr added: “I am delighted to hear about some great news from Glasgow in regard to the music industry. People know that for the last thirty, forty years Glasgow has produced some amazing music, some amazing labels, amazing bands, venues and events but finally Glasgow is going to have its own vinyl pressing plant. Rockvinyl is the missing piece of the jigsaw.”

The pressing machines have been constructed in Sweden. Funds will also be used for employing pressing staff and finishing staff.

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