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Learn to swim franchise takes award

Swimtime, the children’s learn to swim franchise based in Shrewsbury, has won the Digital Transformation award at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards run by the British Franchise Association and sponsored by HSBC Bank.

The company - which currently has 19 franchisees operating in 31 territories across the country - teaches 20,000 children to swim every week who progress through their ‘Learn to Swim’ programme which is the first to be endorsed by the ISSA (International Swim School Association).

In the Digital Transformation category, judges were looking for a business that had invested in digital development, services or systems that would deliver long-term sustained benefits to their network. They were looking for a brand that not only had a bold vision but that is now reaping the rewards of successful project execution and delivery. 

Described by many as the Oscars of the franchising world, the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards were held at a black-tie event at the Vox hotel in Birmingham,  attended by over 400 guests.

Swimtime managing director Rachel Brooks said: “Our team has worked so hard. To have this recognition for everything we’ve achieved is incredible. It’s been a long hard journey.”

Director Theo Millward said: “Rachel spearheaded a lot of the project, doing some amazing work. It’s truly incredible that we not only came through COVID but transformed the business digitally and have come out with this success. The digital transformation of Swimtime has been a milestone that has changed the course of this brand forever."”

Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchising Association, said: “Huge congratulations to Swimtime for winning the Digital Transformation award. Rachel and Theo have obviously worked very hard to bring Swimtime into the 21st Century digitally and their efforts have been rightfully recognised.’

Pictured: from left, Pip Wilkins (CEO British Franchise Association), Theo Millward (Swimtime director), Rachel Brooks (Swimtime managing director) and Gillian Morris (head of Franchising, HSBC)