Scotland’s first vinyl pressing plant has appointed a music industry veteran as Industry Engagement Advisor as it prepares to take its first orders.

Ronnie Gurr recently stood down from his role as Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Music Industry Association and will join the Seabass Vinyl team with immediate effect.

Seabass Vinyl will operate from its purpose-built factory and infrastructure at Macmerry Industrial Estate, East Lothian. 

The pressing plant will start taking orders this month ahead of production beginning in December.

The plant will produce 60,000 records per month with their two Pheenix Alpha presses and will scale up to producing 120,000+ in 2024/2025. They will support runs from 100 units upwards.

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Following his appointment, Gurr, a former journalist and music executive who has worked in the music business since the 1970s, said: “I’m really looking forward to moving on to work with a family-run business with artist focused values, good governance and integrity at their core.

“Seabass Vinyl will be one of the greenest pressing plants in the world, with sustainability and efficiency built in from the start. These core values and principles make the company a real pioneer and a welcome new addition to Scotland’s music businesses. 

“I’m delighted to have been asked to come on board to assist at the very beginning of an incredibly exciting and innovative venture.”

In the 1980s, Gurr worked with Virgin Records as a press officer, orchestrating the launch of Boy George and Culture Club. He also worked as an A&R director with bands such as The Blue Nile, Danny Wilson, The Big Dish, Endgames and XTC.

The Herald: Ronnie GurrRonnie Gurr (Image: Seabass Vinyl)

He has also organised and coordinated the presence and showcase concerts of Scottish artists at the South By SouthWest music conference in Austin, Texas, and curated the Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in 2018. 

He added: “As a fellow resident of East Lothian, I am particularly excited that Seabass Vinyl will retain capacity to enable local artists and smaller record labels to build revenue streams for themselves through accessing small vinyl runs made via direct orders to the company.”

Seabass Vinyl is the brainchild of David and Dominique Harvey, who moved to Scotland in 2019 after meeting in Dublin around two decades ago.

In July, they revealed that they were motivated to take on the ambitious project after seeing one of their musician friends “getting shafted with split releases and delays to vinyl delivery”.

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However, the “real trigger” was witnessing the response within the music industry to the news the UK government were giving a £2 million grant to Liverpool to set up a museum for The Beatles.

About Gurr’s appointment, David and Dominique Harvey, said: “We are delighted to be working with Ronnie. His wealth of music industry experience and, in particular, the Scottish and Irish music industries, will be invaluable in building awareness about Seabass Vinyl and supporting us as we work with artists and labels in the coming months.”

David and Dominique Harvey’s ambition is for Seabass Vinyl to become a cornerstone of the Scottish music industry, supporting artists and labels with an artist-centric approach to delivery. 

The pair confirmed their initial desire to focus locally and work with Scottish artists, citing the financial constraints that come with working with musicians from Europe and the US. 

About the pressing plant, they said: “We are effectively doing two things, we’re building a vinyl pressing plant and building a commercial property. Either one of those would be quite chunky on their own terms. 

“It’ll definitely be worth it to have our own premises in the end because we’ll have control over the whole situation, including where we are putting equipment.”

The independent vinyl pressing plant has become a partner of the SAY (Scottish Album of the Year) Award with the SMIA (Scottish Music Industry Association), and will press the winner of the Sound of Young Scotland’s first album as a prize annually.

The facility is also set to be one of the most sustainable plants in the world when it opens, with 20% of electricity generated on site from solar and wind and all other energy certified as 100% renewable or carbon offset by the Carbon Trust.