Pursue your passion with LIPA 4:19

One of the newest LIPA 4:19 franchise owners, Chantelle McDonald, decided to join the part-time performing arts academy after a spell in hospital inspired her to start her own business

Chantelle McDonald, a former drama teacher and student of the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama, was inspired to open a franchise when she was in hospital recovering from a knee operation.

“When I was recuperating from surgery I had a lot of time to reflect and I came across a newspaper article about a mother and daughter who had set up their own LIPA 4:19 franchise,” recalls Chantelle. “When I read it, I thought, I could do that. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and this was a great way of rekindling my love for performing and passing it on to others.”

Chantelle’s LIPA 4:19 academy, which will be based at Longridge High School, Preston, will offer dance, drama and singing classes to children aged between four and 19.

Although she doesn’t open her LIPA 4:19 until March, Chantelle already has ambitious plans for the future.

“My family has a place in Spain, I have spent a lot of time there and know there is a demand for schools like this.”

As part of the franchise package, new franchise owners are trained at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and are given a complete introduction to the marketplace, teaching style, curriculum and operations.

Chantelle, plans to make the most of the contacts made during her time in performing arts. Her cousin is the Irish actor John Lynch, who has appeared in numerous films including Sliding Doors and In the Name Of The Father.

As she is keen to invite her acting contacts to work beside her, Chantelle reveals: “As well as John, I have a lot of friends who are performers and hopefully I’ll be able to get a few of them down to the school to do a few master classes with the children. Initially we will only be open on a Saturday but I already have so much planned… and we will open up on other days.”

LIPA 4:19 is looking for franchise owners who have a passion for the performing arts and a good head for business. 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 qualification. Alternatively, they can leave their teachers to run all classes and focus on supporting and growing their business.

LIPA 4:19 has become an associate member of the bfa after passing a stringent accreditation process. Membership will give LIPA 4:19 access to a range of benefits including networking and event opportunities, brand exposure on the bfa website and in its newsletters.

Kerry Watkins (above), Principal and Franchise Manager of LIPA 4:19 says, “Becoming a member of the bfa is a real benchmark for our business. We are committed to running the highest quality franchises with the best teachers available. We are in talks with potential franchise owners with a view to opening more sites this year and having the bfa badge on our business will help us attract the best people to do so.”

Reported by Tiffany Brooking