Music industry

Plymouth dBs Music Industry Training Center bought by Ed Sheeran’s alma mater

The music technology center in Plymouth which trained Wolf guitarist Alice Joff Oddie has been bought by the national college which counts Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora and Jess Glynne among its alumni.

Plymouth’s dBs, the institute of sound and music, has been acquired by Access Creative College (ACC), a leading independent college for the creative industries which has also trained techno artist Rebekah, the dubstep producer Pogman and singer/rapper Misha B, among a sparkling list of industry success stories, and still has Ed Sheeran as his patron.

The move represents an expansion of further education (FE) and higher education (HE) services for both colleges. Establishing a presence in Plymouth for the first time, the ACC will work alongside dBS to provide learners in the city with a “cohesive, connected and defined pathway” from post 16 to university level.

With a common goal of providing the next generation of creative talent through engaging and industry-relevant courses, ACC and dBs will together offer learners, initially in Plymouth and Bristol, an extensive range of courses from levels 2 to 7. Plymouth students will also have access to a range of support services offered by ACC for the first time.

It is expected that this full range of courses – including access to higher education and degrees in games and computer science – will then be rolled out to ACC’s other existing cities, including Manchester and Birmingham. Students will be able to move between cities and sites while continuing their courses.

From its downtown Plymouth campus and from its Bristol centres, dBs currently offers specialist courses in music and sound production to help students build careers in the audio industry.

The ACC, now in its 30th year, provides vocational training in the creative industries to over 3,000 students on campuses in major cities across England. It offers courses in computing, games, media, music and events at specialist campuses in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, York, Lincoln, Norwich and other locations with partner providers.

The college aims to prepare young people for careers in the creative industries through innovative and practical employment-oriented training.



The dBs building in Plymouth town center

Jason Beaumont, ACC Chief Executive, said: “Plymouth has become a thriving hub for education and the creative sector. We couldn’t be more excited to bring a new kind of learning experience to students in the city with course options ranging from post 16 to university level.

“We want to provide students with a consistent, connected and defined journey in their learning, no matter when they choose to study.

“dBs has a very good track record of delivering technical degrees up to postgraduate level. Our plans are to build on this and develop a suite of degrees for our progressing students across our offering.

Jessica French, Chief Investment Officer at ACC’s backer, Apiary Capital, said, “We are delighted to support Jason’s ambitious plans to grow Access Creative College’s HE offering across the country and consider this acquisition as an important first step in delivering a new kind of HE experience. for learners in the creative and digital sector.

Nige Burt, Managing Director and Co-Founder of dBs, said: “Plymouth is obviously the birthplace of dBs, having settled there around 23 years ago. The city is exceptionally important to us as an organization and so we are delighted to partner with ACC to provide students in the region with an exceptional learning experience within a broader curriculum. It offers the opportunity to be at the forefront of educational provision in the digital and creative industries in Plymouth and surrounding areas.



Business Live’s South West business reporter is William Telford. William has over a decade of experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. It is based in Plymouth but covers the whole region.

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The announcement follows a significant 18 months for ACC, during which it secured an investment from Apiary Capital and welcomed the National College of Creative Industries (NCCI) to its portfolio.

The ACC also recently announced a number of new senior appointments, including former Minister of State for Universities Jo Johnson as Chairman, and former Ofsted Inspector and the Inspectorate of Adult Learning Steve Stanley as Director of Evaluation and Impact. ACC was rated Good by Ofsted in 2016 and Exceptional by the Independent Schools Inspectorate in 2017.