Vinyl proves a sound investment

Vinyl proves a sound investment

Leeds-based jukebox manufacturer Sound Leisure has began producing vinyl playing jukeboxes as vinyl LP’s get set to reach their 1980s heyday.

Sound Leisure’s new ‘Rocket’ jukebox is the first to be produced by the factory in almost 20 years and the only new vinyl Jukebox available anywhere in the world.

The manufacturer, which currently employs 117 people, is one of only two remaining manufacturers of classic styled jukeboxes.

As such, the firm is experiencing unprecedented growth both at home and abroad as vinyl continues to make a comeback across the globe, particularly in the US.

Vinyl is making a spectacular comeback and figures released last year showed that sales of vinyl now make up almost 10% of all physical album sales.

In the US alone, sales of vinyl are up 38%, but the figures are even more impressive in the UK, where sales have grown by more than 56% over the past year.

Shadow financial secretary to the treasury, Richard Burgon MP visited Sound Leisure in his Leeds East constituency last month to see the new vinyl playing jukebox in action.

Burgon said: “It was fantastic to visit Sound Leisure in East Leeds and great to see jukeboxes made here in East Leeds being loaded up for Louisville, Kentucky in the United States.

“Leeds – and the UK – needs a thriving, modern manufacturing sector and superb companies like East Leeds’ very own Sound Leisure are showing the way ahead.”

Chris Black, managing director of Sound Leisure, added: “We were delighted to welcome Richard to our manufacturing operation here in Leeds and for him to see the production of this new vinyl machine, which provide such a great opportunity for the company to expand its operation to meet future demand.

“Although it is becoming increasingly difficult in this digital age to find people with the skills and knowledge to be able to recreate some of the components required to manufacture a vinyl-playing jukebox, it is an enormous tribute to the team here in Leeds that this machine has actually become a reality. We are looking forward to the summer when the machines go into full production.

“Richard was able to see first-hand some of the skills we employ and to speak to members of our team who are part of this dedicated workforce.”