Liverpool

Robbie Williams invests in Liverpool arts school LMA

Robbie Williams and LMA students Image copyright PA
Image caption Williams has bought a 20% stake in LMA

Robbie Williams has bought a stake in Liverpool performing arts academy LMA.

The ex-Take That star, who mentored the centre's LMA Choir during his time as an X Factor judge, will help the academy to expand globally, starting with the launch of a London campus.

He said he hoped to "motivate the next generation of pop stars".

Williams will hold a 20% stake, becoming a co-owner alongside founders Richard and Simon Wallace, and former Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy.

The singer made the announcement at a press conference in London, which included a performance by the LMA Choir.

Inspired by 'passion'

The LMA Choir was chosen as one of Williams' four acts for the live shows on the 2018 series of The X Factor.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Williams becomes a co-owner alongside founders Richard and Simon Wallace

He said he had been inspired by the "passion" of the choir's members because they represented "what I was and what I am".

"We're sort of jazz hands people," he said.

"It's difficult to be jazz hands people in northern England."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The LMA Choir will join Williams on stage at a performance this summer

The LMA offers degree courses in musical theatre, acting, music performance, games and animation, and film and TV production; validated by Staffordshire University.

Its London campus is scheduled to open in 2020.

Richard Wallace said the investment capped an "incredible" 12 months for the academy and its students during which they had appeared as cast and crew on TV dramas and films.

The choir will join Williams on stage when he performs at the British Summer Time festival in London in July.

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