Multi-million pound performing arts academy to unearth Scottish talent

The newly-expanded MGA Academy is set to address growing demand for the performing arts.

West Lothian performing arts academy triples intake in move to new multi-million pound facility STV News

One of Scotland’s top performing arts schools is showcasing its new multi-million pound facility in Livingston.

The MGA Academy of Performing Arts moved from their former campus in the Balgreen area of Edinburgh to their new 30,000 square foot home in Livingston in September – allowing them to triple their intake and offer more degrees for students.

The Academy was formed in 2005 and is the only school in Scotland accredited by the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT).

Principal Marcella Macdonald said: “It was really important that we establish somewhere in Scotland.

“So for us, it’s so important that we have this facility to keep the talent in Scotland and compete with the London market.”

The move will also allow the school to grow and broaden its educational offerings.

Lilly-Jane Young, head of admission, said: “In terms of our intake we can essentially triple the numbers that we accept here, because we’re opening not only just a plethora of new studios; we’re also able to open up new degrees. So we’re basically expanding the suite of courses that we can offer.

“So it’s tripling the intake and what it does mean is that we’re able to widen access to the performing arts to a wider range of students as well which is really exciting.”

It’s hoped the new facility will be a step in the right direction in improving Scotland’s international standing for performing arts.

And for the students, it’s been inspiring to attend a theatrical school closer to home.

Max Coussins added: “Having this new campus I feel establishes the name MGA more firmly, and we’ve got massive names like Thomas Doherty, Caitlin Tipping in the West End.

“They’re all massive performers and I think it’s great to have this facility to ingrain ourselves into musical theatre.”

Logan Craik said: “I’m from Auchterarder, so basically there wasn’t much. I obviously went to high school there and there was a drama department but it wasn’t massive, but coming here it’s like a breath of fresh air.”

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