Sounds like a good deal as iconic studio secures a new home

Les Balla of SDL Bigwood with Rob Bruce outside the new Rich Bitch Studios

Birmingham’s Rich Bitch Studios has secured its new home in Kings Norton Business Centre.

Owner Rob Bruce, advised by property agents SDL Bigwood, has signed a ten year lease.

The music business, famous for sessions by the likes of Black Sabbath, ELO, Robert Plant, Roy Wood and Cozy Powell, has taken a 3,000 sq ft unit as a practice, rehearsal and recording venue.

It was previously based in Selly Oak for 30 years but, hit by rising business rates and the cost of maintaining and running the 20,000 sq ft of space there, recently sold up with the buildings being demolished and redeveloped for student housing.

A site at Heeley Road in Selly Oak was considered before Mr Bruce settled on Kings Norton Business Centre.

He said: “We needed to downsize. Our business did not justify such a large building.

“Now we have an excellent new venue. It is a convenient spot, easy to get to and with good road connections. Plus there is a lot of music industry in and around the wider area.

“It has taken longer than we thought, eight to nine months, and it will take a few weeks yet to get it all sorted from here, but then we will be making music again. SDL Bigwood have helped enormously.”

There will be five rehearsal rooms and a large recording studio which are being built off-site.

“It is sort of flat-pack,” said Mr Bruce. “We will be bringing them in and assembling them. It offers us flexibility for the future. The equipment in them will be state-of-the-art.”

He has also taken premises off nearby Prince Road as a stores and office facility.

The main complex will have four full-time staff backed up by part-timers and freelance engineers.

It is expected to open in the summer.

Under a company reorganisation, the business will now be known as RB Studios.

And Mr Bruce, in his late 60s, is planning to step back a little. “I’ll be at the helm but I am going to let the others take over more of the responsibility.

“I was always very hands-on but I am not getting any younger and I am certainly not doing 12-15 hour days any more!”

There will be a soft opening of the studios to make sure everything is right, to be followed by an official launch.

“There is nothing definite yet, but we plan on a bit of a party and maybe I can persuade a few names along,” he said.

Les Balla, commercial agency and consultancy partner for SDL Bigwood, said: “We advised on the sale of their Selly Oak premises and now we have now worked with them on the lease of their new home … so we have come full circle with them.

“The unit, which was previously offices, has been stripped out and refurbished, so in effect Rich Bitch has a blank canvas.

“It is exciting times for an iconic business.”