The HE factor? Robbie Williams buys stake in private provider

Former X Factor judge becomes co-owner of Liverpool Media Academy

June 14, 2019
Robbie Williams
Source: Ian West/PA Images

Pop star Robbie Williams has added a new string to his bow by becoming a co-owner of a higher education provider.

The X Factor judge has bought a 20 per cent share of Liverpool Media Academy, which offers degrees and BTECs in media and performing arts.

The private institution’s degree courses – in musical theatre, acting, music performance, games and animation and film and TV production – are validated by Staffordshire University.

The provider, launched in 2009, is based in Liverpool but will open a campus in London in 2020. Mr Williams chose the institution’s choir as one of his final four acts in the latest series of The X Factor, on which he served as a judge until recently.

The former Take That star will join founding brothers Simon and Richard Wallace, who hold 30 per cent apiece, former Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy, who has a 10 per cent share, and investment expert Bill Currie, who also has a 10 per cent share.

Mr Williams said he was “delighted to now be an official member of the LMA family”.

“As soon as I met them all, I was so inspired by their passion and drive and wanted to get involved – I hope I can help motivate the next generation of pop stars, performers and creatives,” he said.

Mr Williams is not the only celebrity to hold a stake in a higher education provider. Five former Manchester United footballers – the “Class of 92” – are developing University Academy 92 in Manchester in partnership with Lancaster University. The consortium is led by former England defender Gary Neville, alongside his brother Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt.

Simon Wallace said that bringing Mr Williams on board was a “real dream come true for us all”.

“We’re now looking forward to our next chapter as we plan to expand LMA across the country and overseas – and we cannot thank our team of exceptionally talented tutors and, of course, our fantastic students for making all of this possible.”

anna.mckie@timeshighereducation.com

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