Stagecoach students at a festive showcase performance in Cheltenham

As the year comes to an end, Stagecoach Performing Arts is reflecting on a year marked by success. With 12 months brimming with new recruits, international network expansion and a myriad of stellar student performances, the performing arts franchise is also taking pride in securing a prestigious spot within the top 20 of this year’s Elite Franchise 100 (EF100) – the UK’s definitive franchise league table.

As the brand celebrated its 35th anniversary earlier this year, and with the final curtain falling on 2023, it is time for Stagecoach to raise a toast for more reasons than one.

Across the country, the network has witnessed 13 successful resales – welcoming new franchisees into the fold – along with the launch of three greenfields in Penarth, Urmston and Strood. This strategic expansion ensures that areas in the country previously untouched now have access to the exceptional offerings from Stagecoach – reinforcing the brand’s commitment to fostering creative talent and enriching communities nationwide.

Moreover, nine franchisees have seized the opportunity to invest in additional territories. This spirit of expansion has extended beyond the borders of the UK, with two franchisees investing in additional territories in Germany and Canada – effectively propelling the global footprint of the Stagecoach brand.


A testament to the remarkable achievements and expansion, achieving position 15 in the EF100, caps off a fantastic year of milestones for Stagecoach. The EF100 recognises the brightest businesses from across the franchising industry. A panel of 24 specialist judges meticulously assess franchisors across eight key criteria – from their growth and ambition to their contribution to their community and the way they embrace innovation.

“As the highest-ranking performing arts franchise in the EF100, this recognition underscores the incredible achievements and expansion that our network has experienced in 2023,” said Andy Knights, CEO of Stagecoach. “I’m grateful for the hard work and resilience of everyone at Stagecoach who has contributed to this success. Looking back on this amazing year, we are energized and inspired to continue our journey of growth in 2024 and beyond.”

In true festive spirit, Stagecoach are bringing a year filled with triumphs to a magical close with a Let’s Sing Christmas student performance in Disneyland Paris. “As I reflect on the opportunities our students across the country have been given through these showcase events, I’m immensely proud of the collective journey we’ve undertaken together. Our students have graced the grand stages of regional theatres, lit up the glittering lights of the West End and now, against the enchanting backdrop of Disneyland Paris, they continue to showcase their talents and passion in truly extraordinary ways.

“As we prepare for the upcoming festive performances over the holidays, it serves as a fitting conclusion to a year that has been marked by shared successes and the spirit of our Stagecoach community.”