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Summer term return for Stagecoach Performing Arts

Summer term return for Stagecoach Performing Arts

Making up for the lost time is a phrase that has become synonymous with the imminent end of lockdown – Stagecoach Performing Arts franchisees included. Following the 12th April easing of restrictions, which meant many after-school and weekend clubs could finally reconvene after over seven months of closures, students from across the UK reunited for their singing, dancing and acting sessions.

“Without doubt, the pandemic has caused havoc on extra-curricular clubs over the last year, with many parents now seeing our performing arts classes as an antidote when their children have been socially isolated and glued to a computer screen for much of the day,” said Andy Knights, COO of Stagecoach Performing Arts. “It’s vital that we reconnect and re-engage with our students and make the experience really enjoyable by showing them that Stagecoach is a place where they can have fun with their peers again.

“Our franchisees have done brilliantly to reopen their schools for in-person classes again – 99% are now back in their venues and seeing a return to normality with students eager to get back to their classes. Across the network, we have seen a 43% increase in demand for summer enrolments, when compared to summer 2019, and a 25% rise in enquiries, with some franchisees having to introduce waiting lists due to the demand in their local areas.”

With half term and summer holidays looming, franchisees are now looking to the future and busy planning to rebuild their businesses once again. Whether it’s a holiday drama club or workshop, the number one priority is to recover lost ground and ensure children can alleviate their physical and mental stresses through the performing arts and bring a sense of purpose to their lives again.  

Karin Webber of Stagecoach Leicester and Long Eaton is one franchisee who has seen light at the end of the year-long tunnel and is now regenerating her business to be even more successful than before lockdown. “I’m in a very fortunate position in that both of my schools are almost totally full and I am still getting enquiries – 14 in just one day! I’m now looking to open new classes in September and an additional venue for Leicester because we’re bursting at the seams. In time, I would like to have another territory and expand it as much as I can.

“I have felt really well supported throughout lockdown from head office and having worked in a commercial environment for over 25 years, I understood the consequences and had confidence that we’d come out the other side. The fact that we were receiving enquiries right the way through indicated the demand was there for our services and it was up to me to plan and manage my way out. Stagecoach offers a wonderful service and so I was optimistic that we would bounce back again. So far so good!

“I’m really excited about the next few months. Now that our schools are back in the venue, I will be organising summer holiday workshops, giving students the opportunity to join together and showcase their new-found singing, acting and dancing skills to their family and friends.”

For franchisee Kate Ridley-Holloway, Saturday 17th April would bring with it two homecomings – the day she officially took over as franchisee and Principal of her Gloucester franchise and the welcoming of students back to their much-loved school.

“Stagecoach Gloucester is actually the second franchise I’ve owned. In 2014, I bought the Barnstaple franchise from the previous franchisee, which is actually the territory that I went to as a student back when I was a teenager! Late in 2020, I made the decision to sell the school on, having doubled the size of it to cover the whole of North Devon, but lasted less than a term before investing back into the network and buying Gloucester.

“Gloucester seemed like a good investment opportunity with scope for growth and I needed a new challenge and a fresh start.  It might seem crazy to start a business during a third national lockdown, but I knew the demand was there with parents desperate to get their kids out and doing physical activities where they could use their brains for activities that encouraged their physical creativity

“I have lots of great plans for 2021 and beyond. Gloucester is quite a small school but, with the expertise and valued support of my franchisor, I know I can outperform my initial plans for growth. Already I’m getting stuck in and working with the support team to implement an all-encompassing growth strategy and build my new franchise up to a valuable asset for my son’s future.”

Today, a network of more than 300 franchisees operate over 2,000 schools and classes in eight countries. Through an exciting and varied framework of teaching and development, franchisees have helped to unlock the potential of more than one million students since Stagecoach opened in 1988.

If, like Kate or Karin, you’re on the hunt for a rewarding and profitable investment opportunity with scope for growth, find out more by visiting www.stagecoachfranchise.com

Stagecoach Performing Arts

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