AN ENTREPRENEUR is desperately seeking help to open Ayr’s first dedicated music venue after building chiefs told him to think again.

Baz Thomson currently owns a unit of several recording and rehearsal studios on Waggon Road but is haemorrhaging cash as he is unable to make use of a 300-capacity venue adjoined next door.

The self-built Sound Magic studio was opened after Baz - a plumber who owns his trade business next door transformed an old storage unit, into a space for musicians to jam – with one unit lying empty.

But the studio became a victim of its own success as the outgoings such as replacing rehearsal equipment led to the business stagnating.

In a bid to start bringing in cash, Baz started to host a series of Band Wagon gigs, in which a variety of music would be held in each studio, allowing punters to come in and listen to new upcoming acts.

Beginning to see a buzz about the place, he began to hold two events per year over the next six years as the hype around Sound Magic began to grow, as gigs became the ‘lifeblood’ of the studio.

Baz said: “I was never refused a licence, never had any bother or no complaints, all the events ran smoothly and to be honest, the events became the lifeblood of the studio and the other areas of the studio, rehearsing, recording and tuition all increased in volume due to the success of the events.”

In 2016 the once empty unit, which was leased to a car body repair company, suddenly became available allowing the ambitious project to reach a new level.

Baz added: “I was now left with a large unused area in unit one and I needed a large performance area for the studio.

There was already access between the two, so it was very obvious what needed to be done.

“We began work converting the area in unit one into our large performance space. Built a stage, added a fire exit, built a wall to deflect sound, built a sound and lighting booth and a bar area.

“The cost to myself for this was approximately £30,000, the majority of which was paid for by profit from my plumbing company.”

After the transformation, South Ayrshire Council granted 26 licenses over 2017, with 200 people attending each event.

Sensing things could be about to really take off, Baz opted to apply for a late license for an event which he estimated would be 300 people.

South Ayrshire Council initially agreed a late license, but just two weeks before the gig Baz was left devastated to be told it had to be shut down – after building chiefs stepped in asking him to apply to get the venue changed.

But the only way the regular gigs would go ahead is if unit 2 – the newly constructed primed gig spot was excluded from plans.

Now Baz, is left between a ‘rock and a hard place’ as he is desperate to find cash to pay for an architect to re-submit any changes required to get the empty venue slot back in action.

After ploughing thousands into the space and being told everything is perfect for large gigs he feels he’s sitting on Ayrshire’s first dedicated music venue.

But he is unsure of how to overcome council chiefs who have not provided him any guidance on how to make the venue fit for purpose.

He said: “I’ve spent over 18 years on this project, and I’m really stressed out, I don’t know where I go from here.

“I don’t want to spend millions I don’t have on changing the venue, to be told its still not up to scratch. I need to get an architect and that’s going to cost thousands to assess the building and put in plans. But I’m running out of money.”

Baz has launched a desperate plea for help and has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the response from keen gig-goers who want to the see the venue take off.

He plans to raise funds via another Bandwagon which he can hold within the studio space.

A spokesperson for South Ayrshire Council said: “A Council priority is to ensure proper licences and warrants are in place, with a view to keeping the public safe. An application for a public entertainment licence could not be issued as a result of a number of issues relating to fire safety and amenities.”