LIPA 4:19 plans to more than triple its franchise network this year

LIPA 4:19 is looking for franchise owners with a passion for the performing arts to expand its franchise network to 15 by the end of 2010

The huge popularity of talent shows like Glee and Strictly Come Dancing has increased young people's interest in the performing arts. This has created a great opportunity for those with a passion for the performing arts to own and run their own stage school through the LIPA 4:19 franchise.

LIPA 4:19 is confident that the demand for places at its performing arts academies is so great that it is looking to expand its franchise network from four to 15 by the end of this year. Kerry Watkins, Principal of LIPA 4:19, explains: "TV reality shows have created huge demand for performing arts training and we're seeing a growing market for a more structured alternative to traditional Saturday morning stage school."

Linked to the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, which was co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney, LIPA 4:19 teaches children between the ages of four and 19 a range of performing art skills including dance, singing and drama. As well as appealing to children looking to improve their confidence and to socialise away from a school environment, LIPA 4:19 academies attracts those with a serious interest in a career in the performing arts.

"Parents want to know that as well as having fun and meeting friends their children are getting take away skills that could put them on the right path for a career in the performing arts," Kerry continues. "We have given our academies a focused curriculum for each age group and discipline, which aims to complement, develop and enhance themes within the key stages of the National Curriculum. Combined with LIPA-trained teachers, we feel we have a stand out offer in a competitive market."

A LIPA 4:19 franchise can be run either full-time or on a part-time basis. Since Michael Da Silva Pearce launched his franchise in September 2009 he has been running his LIPA 4:19 business alongside his full-time job as a teacher. "At the moment I am wanting to generate an extra income on top of my wage as a teacher," he reveals. "In the future I am hoping to continue operating my franchise during my retirement as an extra interest."

As part of the franchise package LIPA 4:19 franchise owners will receive full support and training from head office. Additionally, those looking to own a LIPA 4:19 franchise do not need to have teaching qualifications as teachers can be recruited, however they must have a passion for the performing arts.

"Running a LIPA 4:19 business is the same as running any business and needs the same skills and discipline," Michael comments. "I love organising, so I really like that side of the business. I also like the freedom it has given me to develop something on my own."

For the right person who has a strong passion for the performing arts, a LIPA 4:19 franchise could provide the perfect opportunity to build a rewarding business. Kerry adds: "For LIPA it's never been about selling franchises, it's about awarding them. We are looking for the right partners to represent our brand - people with a passion for performing arts who appreciate the importance of consistency in the way we teach. We're already in talks with our fifth franchise owner and have a number of other leads on the table."

Reported by Derin Ibrahim

Management or Operational

Franchise owners may take a joint managerial/operational role and oversee the running of the academy and teach some classes themselves provided they have an appropriate teaching qualification. Alternatively they can leave their teachers to run all of the classes and focus on supporting and growing the business.

Initial Investment Requirement

£13,500 + VAT, includes:

  • Full training
  • Launch and ongoing support
  • Marketing strategies
  • Comprehensive operations manual