A profitable performance with LIPA

Operate a profitable business and help children take to the stage with Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA 4:19)

For those with a passion for performing arts and an ambition to run their own business, investing in the LIPA 4:19 franchise offers an ideal opportunity. LIPA 4:19 helps to channel young adults' energy into improving their acting, dancing and singing skills and with over 12 million people under the age of 19 in the UK there is plenty of scope to grow a profitable business.

Established in 2003, LIPA 4:19 was developed by founding principal and CEO Mark Featherstone-Witty to harness and develop the talent of four to 19 year olds. The parent performing arts institution of LIPA offers university level education and was established in 1995 and is based in the old school of its lead patron Sir Paul McCartney. The Guardian University Guide 2009 has rated LIPA the top UK University for Dance and Drama.

LIPA 4:19 offers prospective franchisees the opportunity to become the principal of their own academy. The investment opportunity is flexible: franchisees can take a hands-on role and help teach the classes (providing they have a teaching qualification) or alternatively can take a managerial role and oversee the running of the academy and leave the teachers to run the classes.
Following the successful launch of the first LIPA 4:19 franchise based at Rainhill High School, St Helens in September, class participation is growing with youngsters from the local community as well as the school attending its Saturday classes. 'To be associated with a highly regarded performing arts institution like LIPA is fantastic,' enthuses Rainhill High School Head Teacher John Pout. 'It has enforced our image as a leading media and arts college for 11-18 year olds.

'Investing in the franchise was a natural progression for us. I had been talking to LIPA founder Mark Featherstone-Witty for some time and both of us could see the benefits of integrating the part-time performing arts academy into the school. With the LIPA curriculum we are now able to provide a range of classes for our students that lead to LAMDA qualifications in acting, singing and dancing. This complements the GCSE, 'A' Level and BTEC qualifications that we already offer to our students. From September 2009 Rainhill will be the sole provider of the new Creative and Media Diploma in St Helens.

'By introducing LIPA 4:19 to our curriculum our relationship with other schools and nurseries within the area has grown closer and stronger. This means the community's aim of developing a Rainhill learning village where children of all ages can have fun and get educated is taking shape.'

As part of the franchise package new LIPA 4:19 franchisees are put on a training course, which covers an introduction to the marketplace, teaching style, curriculum and course. Training is adapted to the individuals as John and his staff have found. 'Our staff only needed to be taught the LIPA curriculum because they had experience of working with children and are qualified teachers,' John continues. 'A member of our team has also been trained as a LIPA administrator and has been provided with the appropriate training. In terms of support we have an excellent, robust working relationship with LIPA. I know we can phone head office at any point if we have a problem.'

Jess Sturman reports