Posted on Tuesday 8 July 2014 by Ulster Business

Central banks financial acrobatics bring dance to belfast

Charlotte Fastiggi, dancer, with Sarah Durrant, APPA NI, Elaine Bailie, APPA NI, and James Foote, Ulster Bank at the premises for the new centre, which will employ 12 people by the end of 2014. 

A scheme developed by the Bank of England to encourage banks to lend more to business is set to bring both jobs and dance to Northern Ireland.

The Academy for Professional Physical Arts (APPA) on Belfast’s Prince Regent Road is said to be a direct beneficiary of the UK-wide scheme, according to Ulster Bank which backed the new venture through the Funding for Lending Scheme.

It’s run by entrepreneurs Elaine Bailie and Sarah Durrant and provides top class training for gymnasts, dancers, acrobats and aerialists, the only facility of its kind to offer all disciplines under one roof.

All ages and abilities will be catered for including ballet, jazz dance, contemporary dance, aerial movement, rhythmic gymnastics, acrobatic tumbling, Barre Plus Fitness, and Pilates.

By the end of 2014 they expect to employ 12 people at the new centre in instructor, apprentice and support roles.

“We aim to provide high calibre artistic physical training for talented gymnasts, dancers and aerial dancers,” Elaine said. “We were therefore determined to meticulously design and finish the facility to the highest standards and Ulster Bank’s support to make the necessary investment has been absolutely crucial.”

Ulster Bank Regional Director, Business Banking, Andy Mills, said: “Elaine and Sarah have impressive credentials and have both been involved in the physical arts sector at a high level for many years. They are investing to create what is a facility of very high standards. As a start-up business creating new jobs, it is a great example of local entrepreneurship that Ulster Bank is pleased to support.”

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