“I THINK IT REALLY ADDS TO THE AREA AND IT GIVES YOUNG PEOPLE AND ADULTS OPTIONS FOR THEIR FUTURE. WE’VE RECENTLY EXTENDED AND IF NEED TO, WE WILL EXPAND AGAIN.”
MARTIN + JACKIE
TMP College on Ormskirk Road in Pemberton, Wigan is home to around 300 students and 20 staff. It offers a variety of courses and qualifications in everything from music performance and technology to creative media, computer science, photography and special FX make up.
Started in 2013 by Martin Heaton, TMP College began offering one to one tuition to students learning to play musical instruments such as the guitar, drums, piano and vocals.
“WE’VE HAD STUDENTS PROGRESS TO UNIVERSITY AND SOME OF THEM HAVE STARTED WORKING FOR US.”
Demand grew and a change in premises was needed. TMP College is now located in a building, which has recently been extended and is specifically set up for students to gain industry-led experience.
Martin explains: “Our staff are people with real life experience of working in the industry. John Kettle, who is known for his folk band Merry Hell, teaches sound recording here in our professional recording studio.
“He has worked with bands as a studio producer for more than 20 years and has recently relocated his business to the college, giving our students the opportunity to work in industry standard facilities, which is great experience for them.”
“He is currently working with Warrington band Slydigs who have recently toured America and Europe with The Who. Established music artists and band managers come in to talk to our students about their experience and our students also get to see how John works with them – which is invaluable.”
Martin was formerly a lecturer in a large FE college and realised his dream six years ago when he began offering tuition on a part time basis at a smaller venue, whilst teaching alongside this to develop the business.
As interest grew, Martin took on several apprentices who have completed various qualifications and some now work at the College, continuing their studies at Level 4 at TMP. Since the opportunity came up to take a larger venue Martin hasn’t looked back.
“We’re on a busy high street with schools nearby. The venue is in a good location but there was a need for a community hub here. I think it really adds to the area and it gives young people and adults options for their future. We’ve recently extended and if need to, we will expand again.”
Working with project manager Jackie Manning the college is now offering over 14 qualifications to 16-18 year olds and adult learners. The funding comes through streams including Wigan Council, a partnership with Salford City College and initiatives such as Access to Music.
Alongside the qualifications Martin and his team also deliver workshops, which have been funded by Wigan Council and Youth Music.
Project Manager Jackie Manning says; “We’ve had students progress to university and some of them have started working for us, which is brilliant. It’s still very early days, but we are proving ourselves as a successful training provider with outstanding results and progressions and the next 12 months looks like a great time ahead for the business.”