“They 'get' the kind of equipment we need to invest in
25 years ago, Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies (ICT) opened its doors in Nottingham as a music technology training provider. Today, as well as its original area of expertise, this progressive education facility, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nottingham Trent University, runs courses in games development, TV, film and technical events as well as acting & performance.
Offshoots from the main business include Constellations, a bespoke furniture and interior design and manufacturing company, a film and TV post production company called Spool and the record label Denizen. The onsite business centre, Antenna, is the hub of Nottingham's creative quarter, a magnet for both startups and established businesses. With Nottingham Trent University, the Confetti Media Group is also a joint partner in Notts TV, the city's first dedicated local television station.
“Having the commercial organisations alongside the educational facility, under the same roof, allows us to create a lot more opportunities in education, which more traditional education providers couldn't do”, says Joe Duckhouse, Confetti's Head of IT.
“Our students have a lot of industry engagement. They go off and they work on commercial jobs, alongside our commercial organisations. The big difference here is that they will finish their course with a fairly hefty CV, whereas in a more traditional educational facility, you wouldn't have that level of opportunity.” To be able to deliver the commercial jobs it undertakes and to ensure the students are always using equipment, perfecting techniques and adopting methodologies they will find in the world of work, the company invests heavily in technology – something like £200,000 to £300,000 annually.
“Launching Notts TV and going into broadcast television was a huge undertaking. There was a very, very large investment in equipment there”, says Duckhouse.
The music suites house vintage recording desks, including an AMS Neve VR60, which sound great, but don't come cheap.
As it is now under the wing of the university, Confetti no longer uses asset finance for purchases but the business is grateful for the support it received from Azule when more traditional sources of finance we less keen to lend.
Duckhouse says: “Without having the ability to finance the equipment that we needed to deliver what we do, we'd have never got to where we are today. Getting to the point where we are now, Azule were a key partner of ours.
“They 'get' the kind of equipment we need to invest in and they 'get' the kind of high investment, high return nature of this equipment.”