Preston businessman named British Franchise Association chairman

The British Franchise Association (BFA) board of directors has selected Preston-based businessman Simon Bartholomew as its new chairman.

[caption id="attachment_33858" align="f-align-medium-right f-align-center" width="300"]Simon Barthlomew, right, welcomed by Michael Eyre Simon Barthlomew, right, welcomed by Michael Eyre[/caption]

Bartholomew, of Oscar Pet Foods (headquartered in Higher Walton), replaces Burnley’s Michael Eyre in the role which will see him lead the trade association for ethical franchising in the UK. The BFA represents some 375 businesses with more than 12,000 franchisees across the UK.

Hugely respected and popular throughout the franchise community, Bartholomew has enjoyed incredible success across a 30-year career in the franchise sector, during which he has worked in senior positions with some of the biggest names around, including a decade at McDonald’s.

He has been responsible for franchisee business support and marketing with Oscar Pet Foods since 2002, overseeing national expansion.

He said: “It’s a real honour to have been selected by my peers to chair the BFA for the next two years. I’m hugely excited about the prospect of leading an Association which represents so many dynamic and diverse companies led by innovative, forward-thinking business men and women.

“It’s an exciting time to be a part of the franchise sector, which has shown exceptional growth during the past five years where other industries have struggled. Ethical franchising has afforded thousands of people the chance to realise their dreams of business ownership, and I’m looking forward to helping many more understand its benefits.”

Franchising has seen enormous expansion in the UK throughout the recent economic difficulties, growing 20 per cent since 2008 to a turnover of almost £14bn – while the UK economy contracted 2.5 per cent during the same timeframe. The north-west has been a key driver in that growth, with franchise businesses now contributing some £1.4bn and 55,000 jobs to the region.