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North West franchises driving growth faster

By: David Howells
25 May 2011

Franchises in the North West are growing even at a time when other industries are stalling.

A joint study carried out by NatWest and the British Franchise Association (BFA) found that franchised businesses in the North West generated £13 billion last year, growing from 2010's figure of £12.4 billion, an increase in one year of £600 million and a figure higher than the national average.

Both the number of franchises and the sector's turnover have grown since 2006, with the region's turnover registering a 15 per cent growth at a time when the UK GDP growth rate stood at 9.4 per cent. This vast increase has generated many business franchise opportunities and with the figures unlikely to slow down in the coming years, looks set to create many more.

In total, the number of franchising systems currently in operation in the UK has risen to 897, with the number of franchise business units reaching 36,900.

Director of the BFA Brian Smart told the Liverpool Daily Post of what the results show for the franchising trade. "Yet again," he said, "franchising has demonstrated its inherent tenacity and stability, despite a tough climate last year."

The number of jobs created by franchises has also seen a jump, rising by 56,000 to take the total to 521,000. Speaking of what the huge number of new jobs has done for Britain's finances, Smart told Insider Media, "This means that many more sustainable business start-ups and jobs have been created by ethical franchising - further helping the UK economy."

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