Funding story:

With state-of-the-art facilities, a world-class faculty and extensive connections within the music industry, ACM offers music courses that develop students to the highest potential as well as immersing them in the music industry.

How has the business changed in recent years?

The industry has changed immeasurably over the last 20 years. ACM is diversifying – it is about creating something real, achievable, sustainable. In 2012/13, ACM had to step forward, and be measured in exactly the same way as mainstream universities, which posed a huge challenge for an independent provider.

ACM had invested considerable sums into its infrastructure, focused on the delivery of world class market leading courses from sites at London and Guildford. This led to an increase in student numbers, and the desire to open further campuses in Brighton and Birmingham to offer the courses to even more students.


When did you start thinking about funding?

In 2017 when ACM had 2 campuses and 1.4k students.

Why do you think external funding is so important?

ThinCats advanced £2.4m to finance further expansion. By Dec-19, ACM had expanded to 2k+ students and 3 campuses and after refinancings, the total loan was increased to £7.9m.

In Aug-20, ThinCats provided a CBILS loan of £2.9m addressing a temporary shortfall in student enrollment, capex for new educational courses and refinance, taking the total to £10.8m.

How will it help you to achieve your goals?

“We went from one single institution to a multi-campus institution, from three buildings to nine in three years. We were backed by ThinCats, and in two years we took it to over 500 students.”

What were you looking for in a potential funder?

The growth in the business led to ACM approaching financial consultants, RSM, whose SME Debt Advisory Team compared a number of different lenders to assist in securing a funding partner who could help capitalise on ACM’s expansion plans.

Why did you choose ThinCats vs other funders you may have considered?

“The fact that ThinCats care about the underlying ethos and get invested into the leadership team is really important and is the reason I chose to go with ThinCats.”

How did we meet your requirements?

“The funding from ThinCats has been fundamental to our growth. ThinCats saw the vision, shared the vision, believed and trusted.

They work with us in an interactive way, to ensure that it is more of a joined up, participative activity.”