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Perfect combination

Perfect combination

The Stagecoach Performing Arts franchise matches Mark Heslop’s skill set and lifestyle

Mark Heslop found himself at a career crossroads in 2017. As a keen violinist, dad of two and corporate professional, he was on the hunt for an opportunity that complemented his combined skill set and lifestyle. That’s when he came across the Stagecoach Performing Arts franchise opportunity.

Mark explains: “My two girls, Katie and Phoebe, have both been students at Stagecoach Halifax since they were four. Although I was familiar with the brand, I’d never realised it was a franchise. It wasn’t until I got chatting with another franchisee that I noticed the potential for business ownership with Stagecoach.”

Creative learning

For over 30 years, the Stagecoach model has been proven and refined to become one of the UK’s leading performing arts opportunities. Franchisees build a team of equally passionate and enthusiastic teachers, qualified to bring out the best in their students. Stagecoach schools provide a thriving, nurturing and supportive environment for creative learning. That’s just one of the reasons 49,000 children flock to classes nationwide every week.

Today, a network of more than 350 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 it opened in 1988.

“What really appealed was the work-life balance my 9-5 just couldn’t offer,” Mark says. “Yes, I would work weekends, but managing the daily operations of the franchise from home would mean I could make the school run every day. Stagecoach were impressed with the knowledge and passion I would bring to the network and welcomed me as the new franchisee and Principal of Stagecoach Leeds Morley.”

Expert induction

All new franchisees undertake an expert induction at Stagecoach’s head office in Woking and receive ongoing training along with industry leading support in marketing, customer service, IT and business development.

The company’s tried and tested structure enables franchisees to play to their strengths and provides the best possible environment in which to succeed.

Paying dividends

Mark quit his job at a marketing agency and didn’t waste time in putting his stamp on the existing Stagecoach franchise he’d purchased. “If my previous role has taught me anything, it’s that calculated risks usually pay dividends,” he says. “I relocated, changed the Sunday morning school to a Saturday morning and quickly added a Saturday afternoon school too.

“As a parent, I know that extra-curricular activities running on a Saturday are much more convenient for busy families. Parents responded well to the change and student numbers quickly tripled. There were 42 students when I took the franchise on in January 2018. Now I have 129.

“Leaving my previous role to concentrate fully on the growth of my franchise was the best thing I could have done. Katie and Phoebe have enrolled at my school, so they’re with me all weekend and see me every day while I work from the home office.

“The fact I get to facilitate the happiness and confidence of over 100 students by delivering impeccable performing arts sessions is the cherry on the cake.”

At a glance Stagecoach Performing Arts



Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:

across the UK

Investment range:

total investment of £27,000 for a new franchise. Resales between £30,000-£450,000

Minimum required capital:


Contact: +44 (0)1483 247400

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