Top Three Swimming School Franchises

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Swimming School Franchise

A swimming franchise can give you the opportunity to run a lucrative business, whether you love to swim or prefer to stay on dry land. Even though the world may look a little different right now, it’s still a great time to start your own swimming franchise and capitalise on the expected demand over the next few months. Here are some of the most exciting opportunities out there right now.


Swimming schools have been around for a long time, but they’re now needed more than ever. Worrying statistics show that a third of children leaving primary school (age 11) cannot swim the recommended 25 metres (Association for Physical Education). What’s more, a reported 40% of children are no longer being offered swimming lessons as part of their school’s standard curriculum, leaving it to their families to find a proven private solution.

The answer for many of them? Franchised swimming schools. According to research conducted by the Swimming Teachers Association (STA), swimming school franchises have grown in popularity and are now responsible for the clear majority of learn-to-swim courses provided in the UK. Could 2020 be the year that you should take the plunge and open your very own swimming franchise? Some of our most exciting opportunities might just tempt you …

A significant rise in swim school franchise opportunities

The good news for potential franchisees is that there is no indication that the popularity of swimming school programmes is going to end: of those surveyed, 82% of swimming schools had experienced a “significant rise” in the number of children being taught to swim – particularly in children aged two or younger.

On top of that, findings revealed that in the last five years, swimming school franchises have seen growth of almost 30%, with over 60 new schools opening. In addition, 81% of respondents reported that their schools were subject to waiting lists – and franchised schools had the longest in the country.


STA’s Head of Accounts, Zoe Cooper, said it’s “encouraging to see how privately-owned swim schools have matured and are growing their businesses, with 83% stating they run additional sessions to baby swimming, including learn-to-swim programmes (75%), adult (35%) and disability (19%) sessions and Aqua Natal (8%)”.

In short, it looks as though the learn-to-swim industry is far from just treading water: it is resilient during economic downturns and has continued to flourish while many others have sunk. So, which are the swim school franchises that potential investors ought to be looking at?

1. Swimtime

Since it was set up in 1998, Swimtime has expanded its presence across the UK. Its swim schools now teach more than 20,000 children to swim every single week! Swimtime is one of the UK’s largest ‘Learn to Swim’ providers in the UK and its learners follow a tailored programme designed to build confidence and ability, which is endorsed by the ISSA (International Swim School Association). The franchise is also an accredited member of the British Franchise Association (bfa), meaning it’s committed to an ethical and sustainable approach to franchising.

  • Becoming a Swimtime franchisee: Swimtime says it is looking for people who are enthusiastic, professionally driven and willing to put in the work to reach its high standards. This award-winning franchise offers a flexible opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking a career change, regardless of their background, and has a network of franchisees that range from former swimming teachers to people with solely commercial/office-based experience.
  • How much you need to invest: You’ll need to invest a minimum of £8,000 in a Swimtime franchise, making this a highly affordable opportunity. Swimtime estimates that its franchisees can turnover between £50,000 and £500,000, depending on the size of their territory and each person’s individual ambition, and enjoy an average net profit of 20%.
  • What you get for your investment: Every franchisee will be supported with ongoing training in areas such as accounts, operating systems, marketing, business planning and growth and industry best practices. You won’t feel pressure to hit targets or perform a certain way as part of Swimtime, as each franchisee is able to set their own targets and manage their profits and losses as they see fit.

2. Angela’s Swim School

This swim school provides lessons for people of all ages and walks of life. Angela Wilson, an international and Commonwealth swimmer, founded the business in 2002 with the objective of launching a swim school that offers a variety of classes to suit every swimmer. In 2012, the school even trained four students who went on to participate in the Olympic trials.

  • Becoming an Angela’s Swim School franchisee: Angela’s Swim School is a bfa-accredited brand and is enthusiastic to help entrepreneurs with limited experience succeed under its name.
  • How much you need to invest: A minimum investment of £22,000 and a total investment of £50,000 is required.
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees will be granted an exclusive territory, a secured pool contract and a five-year renewable licence with the business. The school provides specialised training so franchisees can become professional swimming instructors with knowledge of the school’s teaching techniques. In addition to this, franchisees will gain support with key areas of the business such as administration and customer ordering systems, compliance and marketing.

3. Puddle Ducks

Puddle Ducks is a kids’ franchise that aims to teach children how to swim confidently and beautifully. The brand says its franchisees understand the value of hard work and how it results in a lucrative business, not to mention how they have the flexibility to choose their own hours. Puddle Ducks refers to this as ‘The Puddle Ducks Difference’.

  • Becoming a Puddle Ducks franchisee: It’s important that potential franchisees are passionate about the brand and are dedicated to making their business a success.
  • How much you need to invest: The swimming franchise asks for a minimum investment of £24,000.
  • What you get for your investment: You will be supported in business operations, marketing, IT support, retail, pool management and much more.

There’s room in the pool for everyone

With established swimming school opportunities such as these – and others sure to follow in their footsteps – potential franchisees might worry that the marketplace is becoming overcrowded. Statistics from the STA’s report seems to suggest otherwise, however, as almost 86 percent of respondents believed that the “baby swim market had not yet reached its peak”.

What’s more, after a long period where children have had no access to many sporting facilities, it’s likely that many are now dying to get back into the pool and improve their confidence, driving a predicted boom in demand. If you’re not sure a swim school is the right opportunity for you, we have hundreds of other franchises in our UK Franchise Directory for you to explore.

>> Read more articles on the Swimming sector

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