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Fresh Air for Boote

Studio pioneer comes full circle

In 1985, Richard Boote was tired of having to go cap in hand to record companies every time the bands he managed wanted to record a demo. So he found an old warehouse in a run-down area of East London, and started his own studio. Over the years, that studio has evolved into the Strongroom complex, and Richard became a full-time studio owner, pioneering developments that are now commonplace elsewhere, such as smaller programming suites that could be hired on a long-term basis. The complex now boasts four complete studios, not to mention a successful public bar, while its surroundings in Shoreditch are no longer a ghost town but a thriving centre for media and cultural industry that is rivalling the supremacy of Soho. Boote has diversified into audio and video post-production, mastering, producer management and equipment hire, and four years ago, bought George Martin's legendary AIR Studios from Chrysalis Records.

Not content with covering every aspect of music, film and video production, Air and Strongroom have now announced a major restructuring which will, in Boote's words, see them "breaking out of being a facility into being a content creator". A new holding company, Air Entertainment Group, sees Boote teaming up with industry veterans Paul Woolf and David Ravden. As well as continuing to build up Air and Strongroom's existing business, the intention is to establish new subsidiaries including a record label and publishing company, as well as businesses tackling film and video-making and live music. "With David and Paul firmly on board," says Richard Boote, "I will finally be able to get back to my reason for doing this in the first place: to create high-quality music, film and TV, and have some fun doing it.”

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