8:26am Thursday 1st March 2012
By Jim Jack
A Wharfedale company is set to reclaim Britain’s seat at the table of piano-making nations.
Otley couple Adam Cox and Charlie McEwan have teamed up with other experts to create Cavendish Pianos – the only instruments now being produced in the UK.
Adam was inspired to start the venture after the famous British range he had sold at the couple’s Yorkshire Pianos business for years – Kemble – ended its UK production, transferring to the Far East, in 2009.
That left a gap in the market which Yorkshire Pianos are hoping to exploit with the selection of family-focused instruments, ranging from small uprights to large grands, now being produced at their Beamsley Hill base, near Bolton Abbey.
Cavendish Pianos will be officially launched at Frankfurt Music Messe 2012, the European Music Fair, this month.
Adam said: “For a lot of people looking at buying a piano, their main question is ‘where was it made?’ And we think there must be lots of others who, like us, would like to know more about the production of their instrument and what materials were used. We've had a piano shop going on 20 years and I’ve always wanted to make pianos, so now we’ve seen there’s a gap in the market we’re going for it.
“There seems to be a feeling that, as a country, we can again produce great British goods and we believe there is a growing demand for them. We’ve been given a government grant for the stand because of our export potential and it would be great to sell some pianos to France, Germany or Italy.”
By coincidence, the company found all the specialist materials and craftsmen it needed in the region, meaning their pianos can also boast of being “Made in Yorkshire”.
Adam said: “We are a tiny operation compared to the big boys and we’re doing a very small production run, but that means we can do things the Far Eastern manufacturers can’t.”
Cavendish Pianos is backed by the owners of the Bolton Abbey estate, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, who are its patrons.
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