Q1: Do you currently use the services of Lancaster Musicians Co-op?
Answered by: 52 respondents
Yes: 31 / 59.62%
No: 3 / 5.77%
Used to, but not now: 17 / 32.69%
Q2: If you answered ‘yes’, which services do you use?
Answered by: 38 respondents
Practice rooms: 36 / 94.74%
Recording studio: 17 / 44.74%
Equipment hire in practice sessions: 22 / 57.89%
Storage facilities/lock up: 6 / 15.79%
Equipment hire for use outside the Co-op: 4 / 10.53%
Q3: If you answered ‘yes, how often do you use these services?
Answered by: 37 respondents
Less than once a month: 8 / 21.62%
Once a month: 2 / 5.41%
Twice a month: 11 / 29.73%
Three times a month: 4 / 10.81%
Once a week: 10 / 27.03%
Twice a week: 2 / 5.41%
More than twice a week: 0 / 0%
Q4: If you don’t use the services of Lancaster Musicians Co-op, but you do use similar services elsewhere, can you tell us why you chose not to use Lancaster Musicians Co-op?
Answered by 20 respondents
Of the 20 that answered this question:
• 1 has moved away from the area
• 3 actually do use the Co-op facilities
• 2 have their own dedicated rehearsal space, so have no need of the facilities
• 13 have stopped using the facilities because they are unhappy with the physical environment or the service they receive (or both). Comments relate to mould, damp, unhealthy environment, temperature (too cold), oppressive lighting, unsuitable opening hours/lack of access when needed.
Q5: What could we do to encourage you to use Lancaster Musicians Co-op Services?
Answered by 24 respondents.
The following suggestions were made to encourage people to use the Co-op:
• Improve cleanliness/ hygiene
• Environment (e.g. address mould, damp, heating)
• Improve service level (what is available but also customer service)
• Increase size of rooms
• Improve lighting
• Improve/ increase opening hours
• Improve/ update equipment
• Introduce a communal area
• Permanent tenancies available 24 hours (and storage available 24 hours)
• Improved business model – openness, transparency, quality financially viable venture
Q6: What do you like about the Lancaster Musicians Co-op?
Answered by 48 respondents
Of the 48 that responded, positive comments were made in relation to:
• It’s location
• Affordability of practice rooms and recording
• Friendly & helpful service
• Friendliness of the staff
• Having practice rooms people can access (it’s existence)
• Being part of a community/ network of musicians
• Good atmosphere/ relaxed
• Having space to create
• It’s importance as part of the local music scene
However, within this section, people also said:
• They felt the Co-op had no respect for its users
• They had no alternative – otherwise wouldn’t use it / only rehearsal space available
Q7: What do you think could be improved?
Answered by 45 respondents
The following suggestions were for improvements and new developments. The comments about improvements to the existing LMC offer dramatically outweighs any suggestions for new developments, which suggests there is a lot of public opinion (and potentially frustrations) about the quality of the LMC as it stands and the need for an improved facility and service. The lack of new ideas suggests a difficulty in seeing past the current difficulties.
• Repairs and decorating / building updated and renovations
• Sort damp & mould issues
• Improve quality and availability of equipment
• Improve the quality of the rooms
• Deposits for renting equipment
• Longer opening hours
• Online booking system
• Recruit more members / more public engagement
• Review of management structure and persons / skills
• Processes to raise issues and concerns or ideas
• Openness, transparency, accountability, communications, PR, advertising (seems to be comments which ultimately relate to management structure, governance, finance, processes etc. – being a professional, open and transparent Cooperative).
• Membership run Co-op / be open to new members
• Clean the rooms & remove broken equipment
• Improved access to storage facilities
• Listen to people’s ideas
• Improve inclusivity – e.g. little use by women
• Improve toilets
• Musicians ads
• Break area/ café/ communal area / social areas with good coffee machine and/or bar
• Showcase local people
Q8: When all of the repair and refurbishment work has been completed, we will be able to start using the upper floor space again – this is a large open space with good natural lighting that could comfortably hold about 300 people. Do you have any ideas about how this space could be used?
Answered by 50 respondents.
• Space for promo photos, music videos, media packs
• Smaller spaces for music tuition
• Workshops space
• Dance studio
• Bar/ live venue/ club
• Music therapy groups – e.g. mental health, disabilities
• Venue downstairs and practice rooms upstairs?
• Multi-use venue – music, comedy, art, bookable space for other people/orgs
• Range of interesting cultural events & groups – as above (music, comedy, art) plus exhibitions, lectures, singing groups, choir, group drumming, poetry, spoken word, mother and baby groups, film showings, quality live band recordings, showcase gigs
• Creative hub, café
• Artist studio spaces
• More rehearsal spaces (24 hour access)
• Library of Things & repair space
Q9: Would you like to be able to access the Co-op at any times that are not currently available? If so, what would you like to access and when?
Answered by 33 respondents.
In general, people want to be able to access rehearsal rooms in the daytime as well as evenings, and for the evenings to be longer and later. Some requested 9 to 5 opening hours, some requested 11am opening, some requested open to 11pm. To accommodate everyone’s requests, opening hours would need to be 9am to 11pm, with some ‘all night’ sessions. So further refining of opening hours changes will be needed at public consultation/focus group stage or options considered around unstaffed access.
People also wish to be able to access their lock-up spaces outside of normal opening hours so their equipment can be returned after gigs.
Q10: The practice rooms currently cost between £7 & £9 per hour. What do you think about the current prices?
Answered by 48 respondents.
4 / 8.33% think the prices are too low
6 / 12.50% think the prices are too high
38 / 79.17% think they are about right / reasonable
Additional comments/suggestions included:
• Sliding scale of pricing according to individuals’ circumstances / affordability
• Prices are too high due to the current quality of provision / environment / services
• Once refurbished properly – increase to £10 per hour
• Smaller spaces for solo artists
• Cheaper slots for bands/ people with less money
Q11: What else do you think the Co-op could do to support local musicians?
• Workshops and talks about all kinds of topics – from music related & industry knowledge to business related (e.g. marketing, promo etc)
• Increase / improve diversity
• Flexible pricing structure (low income/unwaged etc)
• Support around general wellbeing
• Monthly live showcase gigs upstairs
• Skills swapping
• Promote events, releases, spotlight on people/bands who use facilities – generally help to promote local artists
• Finding new band members
• Record label to aid local musicians
• Music tuition
• Fundraising events
• Loyalty scheme
• Music shop
• Recording, release and promotional services
• Venues for new bands (help)
• More focus on being a co-operative
• Collaboration multi-disciplinary
• Membership / joining fee
• Work with local venues and events organisers – be more engaged with the local community, other organisations and local people etc
Q12: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Answered by 26 respondents.
Summary version of comments:
• Community needs the right space and facilities to foster and grow new talent
• Great opportunity to benefit the wellbeing of the whole community
• Many in the community appreciate the fact that there is a facility and appreciate the efforts of those who have made that happen
• Don’t wait – act now / improve now
• Become a real co-operative again
• Essential part of the local music scene
• There is a lot of love and support – but people want better facilities and want to be more involved
• Huge amount of local talent, local opportunity
• Some people appear to feel frustrated/negative about current position of the Co-op, some appear to feel positive about its existence and the efforts of those that have helped it remain – some appear to be supportive, but want improvements.
Q13: Can we keep you informed about the activities of Lancaster Musicians Co-op?
Answered by 44 respondents.
Yes: 28 / 63.64%
No: 16 / 36.36%
All information provided after this point was removed prior to sharing the results with the Musicians Co-op Directors and Lancaster City Council representatives.
Personal details which were provided to this survey are currently being held securely and can only be accessed by Sally Bloomer Consultancy. For the moment, those details provided will only be used by Sally Bloomer to share information and updates about the progress of this project. When the Lancaster Musicians Co-op develop GDPR compliant mailing list facilities, those that have requested to be kept informed will be added to this mailing list and removed from Sally Bloomers records. If you have any queries about this or wish to be removed / unsubscribed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Names of respondents have not been shared, but uncensored comments have been shared with the Co-op Directors and representatives of Lancaster City Council to ensure open and transparent review and development process.