SSR was founded by current CEO John Breakell and began life as Spirit Studios in 1980. Located on Tariff Street, Manchester, Spirit was a small complex comprising of 4 small rehearsal rooms and a single 4-track recording studio.
The Smiths were the first band through Spirit’s doors, and other rising bands of the time followed, including The Stone Roses, Simply Red, Happy Mondays, 808 State and New Order. Bill Wyman paid a visit, as did the legendary Tony Wilson and many other famous faces. The Stone Roses recorded in Spirit Studios the demo tape that secured their first record deal.
In 1984, recognising an increasing demand for professionally trained sound engineers within the music industry, Spirit Studios became the School of Sound Recording, the first audio engineering and music production school in the UK, and one of the first in the world.
The School of Sound Recording quickly gained a healthy reputation within the music industry for producing well trained, professional graduates and the business thrived and continued to grow through the 80’s and into the 90’s, offering new courses and moving into a wider range of subject areas. (We even made it into popular literature: The Stone Roses and the Resurrection of British Pop by John Robb, and The Stone Roses, War and Peace by Simon Spence.)
In 2004, we outgrew the Tariff St site and relocated to our current premises in Ardwick, on the edge of the city centre, and shortly after the relocation began offering degree courses with our university partners. By this time, the company was known simply as ‘SSR’ to reflect the changing breadth of our courses and delivery.
In 2009, SSR was recognised with a Manchester Evening News ‘Business of The Year’ award, and embarked on the first steps to expanding the company into new countries and territories.
SSR Manchester now serves as SSR’s global HQ, with SSR London and SSR Jakarta both opening in 2011. Further SSR centres are also in development.