A BLIND music enthusiast who struggled to find full-time work has set up his own recording studio thanks to a local company.
Hoby Allen, 22, from Redruth, set up Cabin Fever Audio Productions, a recording and live sound engineering service in Lanner, after gaining an HND in sound engineering from Truro College.
Mr Allen said despite his sound engineering experience he had struggled to find work and, because he was registered blind, the limited job market in Cornwall became even smaller once he had graduated.
He decided to set up his own studio but needed a loan to get his idea off the ground.
He applied to South West Investment Group Services (Swig) for a start-up business loan and it was approved.
With the funding, Mr Allen got his dream off the ground, with the aim of providing professional recording to musicians and bands in Cornwall at an affordable price, and has spent hours committing to memory the functions of every knob and fader in his studio.
“I’ve had troubles with vision since I was born, so I don’t know any different, but I count along the dials on the sound board to get to where I need to be,” he explained.
“I’m registered blind, but I can see a little. I have some giant screens in the studio to help me out.
“The loan gave me a real kick up the backside – a real chance to go out and do what I love for a living with skills I trained in, which made me feel really privileged as it’s not a chance everyone gets. I wanted to use the money completely for equipment.
“The music industry is crowded in the South West and I had to ensure I could keep up with the competition.
“I now have a career instead of lounging around at home.”
After starting Cabin Fever Audio Productions, he said, he realised there were also opportunities to offer live sound services and promote events.
One of these will take place at the Princess Pavilion in Falmouth on January 31 as Cabin Fever presents Bon Giovi, a Bon Jovi tribute act, in association with local charity Macmillan In The Mix, raising money to support cancer sufferers in the South West.
“Using the event also as a fundraising opportunity was an idea I was very keen on, as at the time of booking the event my cousin had cancer,” he said. “Sadly, since then she’s passed away and I’m even more determined to make the event a success.”
SWIG has so far supported 278 applicants into businesses with over £1 million worth of finance since the scheme launched in November 2012.
Lisa Moore, lead start-ups fund manager at Swig, said: “Hoby had thoroughly researched his market and thought about the different strands of the business.”
For more information on Cabin Fever contact Hoby on 07969 794764 or at hobyallen_ firstname.lastname@example.org