From the Telegraph & Argus. First published 27th Sep 1999
Deal is music to Jonathan's ears
Sales of early music instruments are expected to really take off world-wide thanks to the buy-out of a Bradford workshop by its manager.
Jonathan Askey, who has managed Bradford music shop J Wood & Sons for many years, has bought the workshop and has set expansion plans in motion.
Mr Askey, who joined Woods in 1972, has helped the workshop develop sales around the world but is looking to improve on the current volume by using the Internet as a marketing tool.
Woods music shop, which was for many years in Sunbridge Road, has become a Mecca for early music enthusiasts over the last 30 years.
The Early Music Shop was set up in 1968 along with a workshop manufacturing reproduction medieval, renaissance and baroque instruments.
Now Mr Askey, a director of Woods, has set up a new company called Renaissance Workshop Co Ltd as a vehicle for the buy-out.
He said: "I have been involved in running the early music business at J Wood since I joined the company back in 1972. In the workshop we make both finished instruments and instruments in kit form for assembly by the end user.
"We now sell more than 40 or more different kits for, among other things, keyboard instruments such as clavichords, harpsichords and spinets and stringed instruments including fiddles, lutes and viols.
"One of my reasons for wanting to buy the business was the potential for developing our product range and for expanding our customer base.
"Through Woods we already sell world-wide. By using the Internet I believe that there are opportunities to build sales further."
Mr Askey has been helped with financing the deal by the Fast Track Finance scheme run by Yorkshire Enterprise Managers.
Anne Sedgewick, who runs the scheme, said: "Renaissance Workshop employs a small team of craftsmen who have more than 100 years experience in making early music instruments. The people who buy their instruments value this experience."
Mr Askey was also assisted in the buy-out by Malcolm Swallow, financial adviser at Business Link Bradford & District, who put him in touch with Yorkshire Enterprise Managers.