Honiton company wins prestigious business award

PUBLISHED: 11:30 09 July 2016 | UPDATED: 08:48 12 July 2016

Water Babies picked up the Franchisor of the Year gold award at the 2016 bfa HSBC Franchisor Of The Year Awards .

Water Babies picked up the Franchisor of the Year gold award at the 2016 bfa HSBC Franchisor Of The Year Awards .

Archant

Water Babies, the world’s biggest baby and toddler swimming company, picked up the Franchisor of the Year gold award at the 2016 bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards.

A Honiton-based company is celebrating after collecting one of the most prestigious awards in the British business industry.

Water Babies, the world’s biggest baby and toddler swimming

company, picked up the Franchisor of the Year gold award at the 2016 bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards at a glittering ceremony in Nottingham.

The Honiton company beat off opposition from six other finalists - including McDonald’s - in receiving the highest honour in the UK’s £15billion franchise sector.

There are 55 successful Water Babies franchises throughout the UK and international franchises in Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and The Netherlands.

Next month, the company is set to launch its first venture in China with a centre opening in Xi’an.

Last year, Water Babies helped develop the first ever British Standard for Baby and Toddler Swimming Teaching Safety. It is also setting new standards in China.

After finishing runners-up in 2013 and as finalists in 2014 and 2015, business owner Paul Thompson was delighted to have landed the big one this year. He said: “What I am particularly proud of is the team effort.

“We have a sense of family and culture that is so strong, Water Babies is seen as a benchmark of what good and nice look like.

“That has been built by every franchisee, administrator, teacher and staff member over the last 14 years.

“It is so tangible, so special that others outside our family feel it and want to be part of it.

“That is why the room ‘erupted’ when we were announced as the winners with genuine sincerity, the collective franchising industry really wanted us to win.

“Everyone who has ever had anything to do with our story from the kitchen table to the moment of that announcement ran through my head in a collective nanosecond. Water Babies has given me a lot of proud moments over the years - this is right up there!”


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