Kettering town centre Subway to close

January 29, 2020

Fans of all things cheese and toasted soon won’t be able to get their Subway fix at Kettering’s High Street branch.

The sandwich giant has confirmed the store at numbers 15-17, next to HSBC, is to close on July 1.

But there are already plans to open a new store to “deliver a better experience for customers”.

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A spokesman for Subway said: “We can confirm that the Subway store at High Street, Kettering, will be closing on July 1.

“The franchise owner is actively looking for a new location to open a store in the new Fresh Forward decor and deliver a better experience for customers in Kettering.

“The franchise owner looks forward to sharing further updates with the local community and to welcoming loyal customers back to his store once a new location has been secured.”

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There are three other Subway stores in Kettering – in Silver Street, Northfield Avenue and Linnell Way – with another found in the petrol station near the police building just off the A43.

It’s hoped the High Street unit won’t be empty for long with plans already submitted to Kettering Council to make use of it.

Applicants Fortress Two Limited want to change part of the ground floor to a flat. It would reduce the retail area from about 150 sq m to 90 sq m

Related: Subway Franchise

The plans say it would lend itself to either a restaurant or cafe or use as a financial services unit.

Planning documents added that any use of the unit after 6pm – when Subway currently shuts – would be beneficial for the area of the town centre.

By Sam Wildman

Source: Northants Telegraph

Clip ‘n Climb looks to open first-ever franchise centres in the UK

January 29, 2020

Clip ‘n Climb, an international leader in the fun climbing market, is looking to launch its first-ever franchise centres, with a commitment to open 100 new UK venues.

Clip ‘n Climb UK has announced that it will be rolling out its successful model by launching nationwide franchise locations and concessions. To begin this project, it is looking to launch a new centre in Manchester. This follows a surge in popularity for indoor climbing.

The company has operated in the UK since 2011 and is part of Entre-Prises UK Ltd, a subsidiary of the ABEO group. It already operates over 80 centres around the country and has a cumulative yearly turnover of around £25 million. Now, it will license the brand to independent operators as part of an expansion project.

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Complete turnkey leisure business model

These franchises will include a complete turnkey leisure business model, with design and installation for over 40 climbing challenges, catering to visitors of all ages. For operators who share similar core value, this is an opportunity to benefit from a full training and support programme. This features insights and tips on business planning, finance and safety.

Franchise centres will also be able to take advantage of discounts on equipment, maintenance checks, further training, upgrades, marketing support and additional booking system features. Customers will enjoy a range of quality climbing activities, with Clip ‘n Climb’s auto belay devices. The centres will also have a branded cafe, party rooms and soft play.

Vicky Coupe, Clip ‘n Climb franchise manager, says: “Clip ‘n Climb has revolutionised indoor climbing. The theme park meets climbing wall concept offers a thrill and challenge to people of four years of age all the way up to 80+.

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“We’ve seen leisure climbing grow in popularity since we installed the first Clip ‘n Climb centre in the UK and industry insights report a 40-50 per cent increase of indoor climbers in the last two years alone. With the news that sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at the games in Japan 2020 its popularity is set to soar and so it’s the perfect time to look for the right people in the right locations to share in our success.”

“Launching the franchise model marks a major milestone and cements our ambition to give even more people in the UK, especially in Manchester access to fun, safe, indoor climbing.”

Clip ‘n Climb will also be heading to the 20th IAAPI Expo in Mumbai, India, from 26 – 28 February 2020. The team will be showcasing the company’s full range of products and services at the show.

By Charlotte Coates

Source: Blooloop

Newcastle drainage franchise plans expansion after record £1m turnover

January 28, 2020

Drainage and plumbing franchise Drain Doctor has announced that it ended 2019 with a record £1m turnover.

The franchise, which emergency plumbing, blocked drains and drain repair service, has increased its staff numbers by 20 per cent in the last four years.

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The family-owned business is part of a national franchise network of over 55 Drain Doctor locations across the UK, and plans to expand this decade by reinvesting in new equipment.

Jim Watson, franchise owner, said: “2019 has been a fantastic year for the business and I am confident that we can continue to build on this success and raise our game even further going into 2020 and beyond.

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“Looking to the future, our focus is to further grow the commercial side of the business and reinvest in new drainage equipment and technology so we can expand our client base and work in new sectors, such as housebuilding, sports and hospitality.

Related: Drain Doctor Franchise

“We will also continue to increase our growing fleet of technicians and support staff, recruiting the best talent in the local area, and get involved in community related initiatives, such as DIY SOS, where the business can give something back.”

By Chloe Shakesby

Source: BDaily

Warrens Bakery to ‘focus on growth’ after agreeing Company Voluntary Arrangement

January 28, 2020

Crisis-hit bakery business Warrens has agreed a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with its suppliers and landlords.

A CVA is a process that enables a company to negotiate the repayment of its debt, rather than filing for liquidation or insolvency.

Warrens said its suppliers and landlords had voted overwhelmingly in favour of a CVA, based on the company’s growth strategy, financial forecasts and long-term relationships.

The move follows the announcement of a major restructure by the business, which made a loss of almost £1m in its last reported financial year.

Since the announcement, it has shut 22 company-managed shops and closed its factory in St Just, stating it was no longer economically viable. Its workforce has fallen from 500 to around 350 under the plans.

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The business also made 60 staff in production and distribution roles redundant last summer.

Warrens continues to operate 44 managed shops, and said it was committed to profitable manufacturing at its factory in Callington

“We are particularly grateful for all the support we received from bakery industry participants, which reinforces what a special sector this is, including through periods of adversity,” the company told British Baker this week.

It described the CVA as an “exciting opportunity to reposition the business”.

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“We can now focus on growth without the limiting constraints we inherited some years back,” Warrens stated. “Going forward, as well as growing our franchise arm, we will actively develop our own stores estate.”

The business has recently partnered with travel site operator SSP to open a 300 sq metre store in Gatwick Airport, and has said it planned to ramp up its focus on hospitals and travel hubs.

Warrens said the Cornish pasty would remain at the core of its business but it planned to also develop its range to meet consumer demand for a variety of products and price points.

In its latest accounts filed at Companies House, for the year ended 30 June 2018, the business made a loss of £915,000 compared to a £31,000 loss the previous year.

Warrens won the Craft Bakery Business Award in the 2018 Baking Industry Awards.

By Vince Bamford

Source: Bakery Info

Controversial food franchise Chick-Fil-A to push on with UK expansion despite closing Scottish restaurant

January 27, 2020

Controversial American fast food franchise Chick-Fil-A is to push ahead with plans to open a ‘permanent’ outlet in the UK – despite furious backlash over their funding of ant-LGBT causes.

The fried chicken restaurant closed its only Scottish location in the food court of the Macdonald Aviemore Resort earlier this month after a “pilot” period.

The decision to open the franchise in October quickly attracted criticism after it emerged the chain pumped millions of dollars into organisations which actively oppose same-sex marriage, leading Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie to organise a boycott of the hotel brand.

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However, the restaurant has insisted the Aviemore outlet did not close as a result of public pressure, stating the closure was “in line” with their plans to trial the franchise.

A Chick-Fil-A spokeswoman said: “The Chick-fil-A at Macdonald Aviemore Resort officially closed its doors on January 18, 2020 in line with our plan for a temporary pilot licensed location.”

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“It has been our pleasure to serve guests at this pilot restaurant for the past several months, and we are grateful to Macdonald Hotels for allowing us the opportunity to learn from each and every customer.”

She added: “These insights will help us immensely as we look to having a permanent location in the UK in the future.”

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In 2017, the fast food brand contributed over $1.8 million into anti-LGBT organisations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which requires staff to accept “sexual purity” and opposes same-sex marriage.

The founder of Chick-fil-A was also known to fund organisations that supported gay and transgender conversion therapy, while his now-CEO son claimed that same-sex marriage was an act of arrogance against God.

By James Delaney

Source: Herald Scotland

Swing with your baby at Swindon’s Sling Swing

January 27, 2020

Social mums are enjoying quality time with their babies at Swindon’s own Swing Sling club.

The club, which has been running for five years, has recently been taken over by Lucy Bartlett who also runs the Sling Swing Bristol club.

Lucy used to attend the club herself when her son, Leo, was born and she couldn’t resist taking the chance to run the club herself. She said: “I now own the franchise because I used to attend one of the classes.

“As soon as I saw it was available I wanted to snap it up.

“There would have been a lot of disappointed mums if it had stopped.”

The main aim of the class is to create a bond between the baby and the parent as well as providing a relaxing time for everyone.

It involves gentle swinging to music while the baby is in a sling, hence the title Sling Swing.

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But the club doesn’t just provide the bonding with your child, it lets the parents be sociable with each other.

Lucy added: “The best thing is the social side. At the end of the class we sit around for 10 or 15 minutes just to have a chat with other mums.

“The social side is one of the most popular, you don’t get many baby classes where you can chat.”

Three Sling Swing clubs are available in Swindon throughout a normal week but more are put on during half term and on special occasions.

The reason behind this is to get more relatives, including dads and grandparents, involved.

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Lucy admits that many of the people who attend the weekday classes are mums.

She said: “We try and do family classes at the weekend or in half term and it gets the dads involved. We’ve also done a Fathers’ Day class in the past.

“I think the norm tends to be the dad at work but we’re very much an open group – it’s not just for the mums.

“It would be lovely to see a mix of people but some dads might be a bit intimidated.”

The club is open to anyone with a baby who has passed their six-week check.

Another plus is that you don’t even have to have your own sling. There are ones available for parents to borrow, you just need to let them know.

By Connor Mountford

Source: Swindon Advertiser

Home care providers to exhibit at London franchise event

January 26, 2020

Four domiciliary care businesses will attend the British & International Franchise Exhibition next week to encourage aspiring franchisees to join their network.

In Home Care, Kare Plus, Right at Home UK and American care provider Visiting Angels, will gather at Olympia London (pictured) on January 31 to showcase their business models to prospective franchise partners.

They will join more than 100 other exhibitors at the event, including McDonald’s and Wiltshire Farm Foods, all of whom have been accredited by the British Franchise Association (bfa).

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Visitors will also be able to attend a programme of seminars and Q&A sessions covering topics including how to choose, finance and run a franchise, how to franchise an existing business, and how to grow any type of venture.

Helen McCulloch, portfolio sales director for Venture Marketing Group, the organiser behind the exhibition, said: “The British & International Franchise Exhibition offers a two‐day hub of support and opportunity to aspiring and established franchisees alike.

“Whether you’re conducting initial research into franchising or seeking strategies for growth of your franchise portfolio, you’ll find the advice, contacts and franchise opportunities to propel you to your goals.”

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Franchising currently contributes £17.2 billion to the UK economy, an increase of £2.6 billion since 2015.

Enjoying this growth are around 20,000 franchise owners, 93% of whom reported profitability in 2018, according to the 2018 bfa NatWest Franchise Survey.

The British & International Franchise Exhibition will take place at Olympia London on January 31 and February 1.


Source: Home Care Insight

Plans submitted for a new Wimpy in Haverhill

January 26, 2020

A planning application has been submitted to turn the former Job Centre in Haverhill High Street into a Wimpy restaurant.

The building has been empty since May 2018 when the Job Centre was relocated to Haverhill House.

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The application to convert the building from an office space to a restaurant has been submitted by Kemal Nafi, of Duddery Hill, Haverhill.

If approved by West Suffolk Council, the local planning authority, the fast food restaurant would employ three full/time and four part/time staff and be open from 8.30am to 10pm every day of the week.

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There had been a Wimpy in Queen Street, Haverhill, for decades until it closed in May, 2017.

The same family had held the Wimpy franchise for about 30 years but decided to sell the business.

The new owner of the property then had other plans, said a spokesman for Wimpy at the time, meaning that the brand was then lost to the town.

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The building is now occupied by another restaurant, Jenny’s.

By Steve Barton

Source: Haverhill Echo

Green Motion helps primary school go green

January 25, 2020

A low emission car rental company, Green Motion International is considered publicly, and by industry experts, as amiable ambassadors in the movement towards a more sustainable future.

Recently, the company’s Leicester branch gained local attention after they offered support to a local primary school’s eco initiatives. Abbey Mead Primary Academy in Leicester began their commitment to sustainable practices last year by encouraging pupils to cycle to school and educate classes on the importance of recycling as well as activities in their new ‘Eco Warriors’ club.

After hearing of the local primary school’s new motivation to improve their eco status, the Leicester Green Motion branch donated £2,100 to cover the cost of new bike sheds and recycling facilities which is of great benefit to both the local community and the children’s understanding of global warming.

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The branch have expressed that they will continue to support the primary school after its financial investment through any guidance they require, and by offering agents as volunteers to supervise environmental initiatives, such as the school’s ‘Eco Warrior’ club.

Working towards a sustainable future

Green Motion takes its role as stewards of the environment extremely seriously, and the protection and care of the environment is a vital part of Green Motion’s core business model. Its efforts are reflected in the countless awards celebrating their work in combating climate change, including commendation from several official UK and international environmental bodies.

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As well as its ecological drive, the company has also committed themselves to social and community causes, such as the Winter Night Shelter, Alzheimer’s Society, cancer support charities and other fundraisers, like Comic Relief and the Australian Firefighters fund.

Whilst the climate crisis is a colossal mission, Green Motion’s fight against global warming has begun from the foundations of each and every rental station. Every location in the company’s vast network – spanning across 47 countries – is internally designed utilising renewable materials from ethical, environmental suppliers as well as using only recycled stationery in store.

A consideration each franchisee must make prior to joining the Green Motion network is how they can commit to essential rental station requirements, such as censored low energy lighting, recycling units, environmentally friendly cleaning and of course fleets inclusive of low emission vehicles.

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All staff are encouraged to adopt the core principles of the Green Motion ethos with many agents choosing to further their pledge from sustainable practice in office, to exchanging paid work hours to volunteer within their local communities.

Late last year, Green Motion UK proudly announced their carbon neutral status making them the only carbon neutral car rental company in the UK.

At the beginning of 2019, the UK franchise heads decided to extend the gift of reducing carbon emissions to their customers by committing to offset all journeys taken by their clients and also to do the same for all energy used within each of the 30 UK locations. The company is able to do this by donating the funds to cover the UK franchises carbon footprint, to the wind turbine projects in India and the re-forestation of the Amazon rainforest.

Green Motion is very rightly pleased with their ecological efforts, however, one UK branch in particular has surpassed the eco rental company’s expectations, driving the whole network towards even more intense environmental goals. Water-less car washing has recently been introduced at the Green Motion Edinburgh Waverley branch, which has reduced water use by 200 litres per vehicle washed.

In a generation of compliance, denial and concerning public reluctance to change, eco car rental company Green Motion is spearheading the way towards a sustainable future by caring for their local communities, as well as focusing on the bigger picture of global warming.

Whether you’re carpooling, abandoning your usual cycling commute in protest to the winter weather, or looking to hire a car for a trip away, be sure to opt for the car rental company that is socially and ecologically responsible – Green Motion.

By Leena Sidat

Source: Leicester Mercury

F45 continues UK expansion amid stock market listing rumours

January 25, 2020

F45 is expanding its UK footprint with the launch of two new studios in Manchester.

The Australia-based franchised operator already has a presence in a number of big UK cities and towns – including London, Brighton, Birmingham and Reading – and is now spreading its reach in the north-west of the country.

Scheduled to open in February, the two sites – F45 Manchester Northern Quarter and F45 Salford Central – will follow the same high intensity, group training format that the brand has become synonymous for.

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Both studios will be operated on a franchise deal.

“The brand has grown at an enormous rate throughout the UK and all over the world and it is a real testament to its innovative concept that delivers amazing results,” said Max Lilley, owner of F45 Salford Central.

Michael Dean, UK sales director for F45, added: “Our goal is for there to be an F45 studio on almost every corner of the world – and with the accelerated growth we have seen since the UK launch in 2017, we are confident that we can make this happen.”

The chain is planning further UK and Ireland openings for 2020 – including locations in Southampton, Dublin and Cheltenham.

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The latest openings come as US-based financial news service Bloomberg reported that F45 could be planning to list on the stock market in the US.

In a news report, Bloomberg claimed that the company had “filed confidentially for a U.S. initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter”.

HCM has contacted F45 for a comment on the potential listing.

By Tom Walker

Source: Health Club Management