Jo’s dream comes home with launch of Northwich pool

19 years after launching Puddle Ducks swim school with Co-founder, Tracy Townend, managing director Jo Stone’s dream has come true with the launch of their flagship pool in Barons Quay, a town centre retail park in Northwich – returning home to where it all started.

Puddle Ducks franchisees have seen a huge surge in demand since restrictions eased, with parents and children who have missed out on months in the water wanting to learn to swim through their child-led lessons.

Since launching in 2002, the baby and child swim school franchise has expanded to 34 offices across England, Wales and Scotland, teaching over 20,000 children to swim each week. Due to illness in 2016, Tracy no longer works in the business but she remains on the Board and involved in key strategic decisions.

The pool in Northwich is coming along swimmingly, with a prospective opening date in late August.

Jo Stone comments: “We already have amazing owned pools in the network, but this is a first for our head office team and our franchise in Mid Cheshire. It is something we have dreamed of since launching the business nearly 20 years ago, and it is so amazing to see it coming to fruition.”

Custom built for their Baby & Pre-school and Swim Academy lessons, the pool will be exclusively used for Puddle Ducks swimming lessons and for the training of their teachers. Kitted out with high-spec and child-friendly facilities, the pool will allow families to enjoy learning to swim in an inclusive and fully-accessible environment.

Puddle Ducks’ pool is also the first to ever be constructed in a retail unit. A unique construction in itself, the pool is located in a town centre retail park, not only adding to the list of attractions throughout the town but demonstrating an innovative repurposing of commercial space in the decline of the high street.

Jo continues: “It will mean so much to have our own pool in the town where our business started. It is a unique resource where we will not just be able to conduct our lessons in a safe environment, but also to train our teachers, host franchisee discovery days and induction sessions, and create a new office base for our local franchise team.

“Our franchisees across the network have seen huge demand for their lessons since restrictions have eased. The construction of our own pools gives us more flexibility and freedom with our lessons. Our new Northwich pool has been highly anticipated, and pent-up demand from over a year of disrupted learning has resulted in our current lessons being fully subscribed before we even launch.

“As restrictions ease and we can go back to operating at full capacity, we can welcome more little swimmers to our pool – which is the same for our franchisees across the network.”

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