Liverpool Media Academy, a music and performing arts institution co-owned by singer Robbie Williams, is preparing to convert 17 former retail units at the Metquarter shopping centre into 50,000 sq ft of studios and teaching space.
Liverpool City Council has recommended the plans for approval by its planning committee next Tuesday.
LMA plans to invest £15m in the venture in Liverpool’s Whitehall district, and the proposals form part of the company’s wider expansion strategy. It plans to open a fourth campus in London later this year, but the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park studio at the Metquarter campus will be its first outside Liverpool.
The expansion plans are a response to an increase in applications from prospective students, LMA said.
Currently based across two campuses in Liverpool – at Hope Street and Duke Street – LMA offers post-16 BTEC qualifications and degree courses in music, musical theatre, dance, acting, film and TV production, games art and animation.
The Metquarter campus will be LMA’s third Liverpool site.
The redevelopment of the Metquarter site has been led by asset manager Queensberry and landowner Bywater Properties over the past two years. The scheme has already welcomed occupiers such as Everyman Cinema, Cricket, and Kids Cavern.
Queensberry has supported LMA’s plans during the planning process. It raised concerns over the likelihood of attracting long-term retail occupiers to the shopping centre and the academy was therefore a useful alternative, according to a council report.