Franchising worth £1bn to Scottish economy by 2020

Franchising could be providing the Scottish economy with an annual injection of at least £1 billion by the end of the decade, research has suggested.

Franchises including McDonalds could be providing at least £1 billion annually to the Scottish economy by 2020. Picture: John Devlin

The forecast – flagged by the British Franchise Association – comes ahead of this year’s Scottish franchise week, which runs from 16 to 20 May. The initiative aims to raise the profile of the sector through a series of events and educational seminars.

In 2015, franchising contributed an estimated £800m to the Scottish economy, from 2,200 franchisee-owned businesses creating some 32,000 jobs.

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Across the UK, franchising is operating at record levels with overall turnover exceeding £15bn, according to a survey by the British Franchise Association (BFA) and Natwest.

Pip Wilkins, chief executive of the BFA, said: “The franchising boom in Scotland is being driven by a thriving mix of local businesses alongside big-name brands identifying the Scottish market as key to their strategic plans.

“They’re giving Scottish residents, many of whom had no previous experience of running a business, the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions of being their own boss; and those people in turn are creating jobs and generating wealth for their local communities.

“There is also a superb franchise support network in Scotland with expert consultants, lawyers, accountants and bankers who have the expertise to help both franchisors and franchisees succeed in their businesses.

“With the level of confidence in Scotland and the upward trend, there is no reason why the sector cannot achieve or even exceed £1bn in value by 2020.”

The franchise week kicks off on Monday 16 May with a prospective franchisor seminar, hosted by law firm Harper Macleod in Edinburgh, and aimed at companies that may be thinking of growing their business through franchising.

Other events being held later in the week include a specialist seminar on social media for franchising, a business breakfast which is expected to attract more than 200 delegates to the Radisson Blu hotel in Glasgow and a golf day.

This years’ sponsors are HSBC bank and Platinum Wave, an independent BFA-affiliated franchise consultancy.

Suzie McCafferty, managing director of Platinum Wave and 2016 chairperson of the Scottish Franchise Forum, said: “There really couldn’t be a better time to get involved in franchising in Scotland, the market is growing as a result of continued investment, with some really exciting opportunities available.

“Whatever your interest in franchising, the events during Scottish Franchise Week have something for everyone. It’s a real showcase of the strength of the industry in Scotland right now.”

The British Franchise Association is a voluntary self-regulating governing body for franchising formed in 1977 by the major franchising organisations.