Ambitious plans to launch the Birmingham Independent School of Performing Arts have been put on hold due to the recession.
The new school was due to open in September in the Old Fire Station building in Moseley.
Dubbed ‘the Flame Academy’ when it was first announced on July 11 last year, the 100-year-old building has been converted into classrooms, rehearsal suites and dance studios.
But the credit crunch and subsequent recession has led founder Ian Sandy to postpone opening the school until September 2010, even though the building is already in demand as a rehearsal facility from groups including the burgeoning British Academy of Bollywood Arts.
BISPA was designed to expand to take more than 100 pupils, but Mr Sandy has conceded defeat in his bid to start his first intake in September.
“I’m just one major backer away from opening the school,” said Ian.
“But times are really tough, especially for independent schools. I so believe, though, that Birmingham needs a facility like this, because the only alternative now is to go to London.
“I had one woman from Shrewsbury in tears because she was desperate to send her child here, but she rang to tell me her husband had lost his job.”
Mr Sandy will celebrate his 23rd year as the company manager of the Hippodrome’s annual panto this December. He is also continuing various other businesses, from providing the entertainment at various Yorkshire holiday camps and Tamworth Snowdome’s Winter Wonderland to running his thriving weekend stage school, BSS Showbiz.
More than 170 five to 18-year-olds took part in the group’s annual summer showcase at the Alexandra Theatre on Sunday night after rehearsing at both the Hippodrome and BISPA.