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X Factor finalist opens new recording studio

Former X Factor finalist Ben Mills helped open Canterbury’s newest recording studio on Thursday (May 21).

Ben, originally from Whitstable and who reached the final three of the show in 2006, cut the ribbon at West Track Studios, a new purpose-built music studio run by the Skillnet Group.

Ben Mills playing at the West Track Studios in Roper Yard, Canterbury on Thursday
Ben Mills playing at the West Track Studios in Roper Yard, Canterbury on Thursday

Skillnet, a community interest company who work with people with learning disabilities, have converted the building at Roper Yard into a dedicated recording, rehearsal and multimedia facility at a cost of £25,000.

Chief executive Jo Kidd is confident it will be a huge success.

She said: "It will be open to people both on specially arranged courses run by Skillnet and also to those who want to use it in the wider community.

"We’ve received lots of funding for the project, but the actual refurbishment has been carried out by the owners of the yard.

"We’ve had lots of bands expressing an interest in using it already and I think they’ll enjoy it."

The studios are fully wheelchair accessible, with kitchen and toilet facilities on site.

Ben performed a special set for the opening with Ivan Thompson from Hullabaloo, Alan King of Chillbillies, David Gwilliam from Blues Bandits and Martin Elliott.

The celebrations then moved on to the Farmhouse where Soundcasters and The Aquitaine Progression performed on stage at the Dover Street venue.

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