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Take advantage of business potential in the North with a franchise

Tuesday 21st May 2019

The North of England boasts a GDP of almost £350 billion and a dynamic economy of 15 million consumers. This provides a fertile landscape for business investment that is set to be further nourished by HM Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative.

The programme will see the government invest £3.4 billion in business growth deals across the region. A record £13 billion has been committed to improving transport, connecting cities, shortening commutes and creating jobs.

With further funding going into housing, education, healthcare, culture and tourism, the attraction of living and working in the North will only increase1.

As the regional workforce and population grow there is more opportunity than ever for success with a business to serve their needs.

Planning, launching and operating a business from scratch is a challenging task, but a franchise offers the support of an established brand and a proven business model. Franchising now contributes an estimated £17.2 billion to the UK economy, and aspiring business owners have a wider choice than ever of company types to choose from.

Opportunities to serve the growing North could include:

Food and Drink

The UK’s eating out market continues to grow and, according to global information company The NPD Group, is worth £56bn. The quick-service restaurant sector is the largest segment of the eating out market, representing 53% of all visits and growing five times faster than the total eating out market in the two years to June 20183.

With the nation’s love of coffee still going strong, entrepreneurs might like to consider a franchise with Esquires Coffee who pride themselves on fairtrade coffee and artisanal food dishes. Or, for those who would prefer not to have a premises-based business, Really Awesome Coffee takes premium coffee and snacks to customers in a state-of-the-art van.

Creams Café and Delightful Desserts have helped make dessert an eating occasion all of its own, with people enjoying a meal at home or elsewhere before indulging in waffles, ice cream or pancakes at a dessert parlour.

A success story which needs no introduction is that of McDonald’s. Renowned for the support and rewards offered to their franchisees, the global brand is still looking to open in new locations.

Sports & Leisure

The fitness industry is booming, with an estimated one in seven people in possession of a gym membership. Growth of the sector continues4 and so presents an attractive opportunity for investors.

Anytime Fitness have achieved success in 50 countries and continue to expand their network of 24/7 gyms in the UK. With a business model that has a low demand of the franchisee’s time post-launch, it is an ideal option for anyone looking to run multiple businesses.

Family leisure time is also on an upward trend, especially trampolining, with 28% of adults saying they have tried it, and a further 24% interested in trying it5. Flip Out are the leaders in trampoline and adventure park venues here in the UK and seek new franchisees to bring the experience to the North.


With a thriving and growing business environment in the region, demand for business support services for northern organisations is also sure to increase.

Auditel are a leading procurement and supply chain management consultancy. Their franchisees support businesses in specialist areas including comms and technology, compliance, premises and property.

Helping organisations to achieve growth is ActionCOACH and their network of business coaches. With offices in 72 countries, ActionCOACH support business owners to achieve more profitable and sustainable ventures.

With established and new businesses in the North seeking success, anyone with a business background would be wise to consider one of these franchises.

Take the next step to franchise ownership in the North

If you are an existing or aspiring business owner who wants to pursue the exciting opportunity presented by franchising in the North, then come and meet all the brands above plus many more at The Northern Franchise Exhibition on 21 & 22 June at Manchester’s EventCity. Tickets registered online are FREE.