An academy founded by TV presenter and actor Jonathan Wilkes is to begin offering a degree in musical theatre, after partnering with Staffordshire University.
The Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts, based in Swindon, will offer the three-year course from September this year, validated by the university.
Wilkes said: “When we at the Wilkes Academy first discussed offering a degree to our students, there was only one institution that I wanted to approach – Staffordshire University. To team up with one of the UK’s most exciting and highly regarded higher education providers is exciting in itself, but the fact that Staffs is based in my hometown of Stoke-on-Trent meant I knew it would be the perfect match.”
He added: “The guidance and support that we have already received from Staffordshire University has been fantastic, and to know they are with us on this incredible journey makes it all the more rewarding.”
Staffordshire University chief executive Liz Barnes said Wilkes’ academy was “ideally placed to deliver a musical theatre degree in partnership with Staffordshire University”, because of its “commitment to empowering students to achieve their full potential”.
“We are delighted with the progress that has been made so far, and we cannot wait to support the Wilkes Academy team in passing on their extensive skills and expertise to future generations of performers,” she added.
Patrons of the Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts include Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, and Arlene Phillips.