A Buckinghamshire piano dealer has bought its premises and invested in a refit after seeing demand soar as growing numbers of Brits turned to music to cure their lockdown blues, with support from Lloyds Bank.
Richard Lawson Pianos in Amersham specialises in selling, moving, tuning, restoring and repairing pianos of all kinds.
It has around 200 pianos in stock at any time, from starter instruments costing a few hundred pounds to grand pianos fit for the finest concert halls, costing up to £70,000.
Former piano teacher Richard started the business from his home 20 years ago when his students struggled to find suitable instruments.
Today he supplies top professionals from the classical and pop worlds, as well as amateur players, schools and other institutions.
And Richard says he’s not surprised to see people turning to music for comfort during the coronavirus crisis, which saw his sales boosted by 17 per cent.
Richard said: “Last year was a record year for us.
“We saw a lot of people who had played the piano in the past and who found themselves stuck at home with a bit of extra cash because they couldn’t go on holiday, so they wanted to take it up again.
“Playing the piano is wonderful for your wellbeing. You focus on the music and it can help to ease some of life’s pressures.
“Unfortunately, at the same time, lockdown has had a terrible impact on professional players, who found all their work stopped overnight.
“But now we’re seeing venues reopening, the Proms are happening and I’m optimistic that audiences will return to concerts.”
Now Richard has bought his three storey premises at Amersham Commercial Park, which has been fitted out with wood panelling and drapery to help improve the acoustics, in a £800,000 investment.
Neil Carr, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “Richard and his team have decades of experience working with some of the finest instruments in the world and the business has continued to grow as its reputation has spread.
“Lockdown has had some unexpected consequences and people are clearly finding some solace in music and learning a new skill at the same time.
“I’m sure this will endure and that the live music scene will bounce back too.
“Lloyds Bank is working closely with business customers right across the UK to guide them through the challenges and opportunities as we emerge from the pandemic and help them access the support that’s available.”