The owner of a well-known music school is excited about the future as she prepares to reopen her studios – despite fearing her business would not survive the pandemic.
Diane Mitchell is delighted to be welcoming back her music school pupils as well as professional musicians following months of closures which left her struggling financially.
Diane, who has taught music to young people in Paisley for more than 25 years, took over Brick Lane Studios in September last year and made her dream of operating the successful rehearsing and recording studio a reality.
But within just months of launching her new venture, a second lockdown forced her to close her doors and funding loopholes meant she was unable to get any financial support to help her stay afloat.
Diane said: “It was such a frustrating time as it appeared we were not eligible for any kind of funding so we had absolutely no support.
“It took us a long time to get to the bottom of it but it seemed to be because we were technically allowed to be open but we couldn’t have anyone in the building.
“It was really upsetting as we had just taken on this new venture and I was really excited about it and then I thought I might lose it.
“It was such a worrying time.”
Diane says she faced sleepless nights for months as with no financial help, she did not know how she would afford to pay the bills on Brick Lane Studios.
However, with the help of Paisley First and Renfrewshire Council, Diane says she finally received cash from the council’s Discretionary Fund in February – after three months of no
Diane also hails other local groups such as Made in Paisley for their support as they faced similar difficulties.
The Express told last week how founder of Made In Paisley, Caroline Gormley, said they were left with just £168 in the bank and feared they would also have to close.
Diane added: “Both Paisley First and Renfrewshire Council were a great support and I was so relieved when we finally got some funding through.
“It really helped save us and it was a constant worry.
“I also made really good friends in the creative community as they were in the same boat as me.
“Speaking with Caroline from Made in Paisley was such a help as I knew I was not alone.
“I’m just so glad things are starting to open up again and I just hope it all goes well as I don’t think I could survive another lockdown.”
Diane who is also a talented musician, is now looking forward to welcoming back her young music students as well as getting involved in the business of helping professional musicians record their work.
She also hopes to finally start some community outreach work in Paisley once she is back up and running which she hopes will open up music opportunities for more people in the area.
She added: “Music lessons are about so much more than just music. It’s about helping young people build confidence, social skills and friendships and children have missed out on so much for the past year.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to it. I know it will be May before we are up and running properly but I have lots of ideas and projects I am hoping to finally get the chance to get started.”
The Diane Mitchell Music School is still taking new pupils and Brick Lane Studios is taking bookings for when they can welcome musicians back on April
Anyone who would like to get in touch should phone 07896689816 or visit the website at www.dianemitchellmusicschool.com