A McDonald’s franchise owner was announced as the overall winner of the 2010 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards.

Gerald Thompson (pictured third from right with the judges) of McDonald’s in Manchester and Oldham was the overall winner, picking up the 2010 bfa HSBC Franchise of the Year Gold award. Thompson was chosen as the Gold winner because of the outstanding success of his franchise alongside his tireless support and dedication to local community projects.

Frank Sutherland, who owns an Autosheen franchise in Aberdeenshire, was announced as winner of the 2010 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Silver award, while Peter Morrison, of Granite Transformations, in Cambridge won the Bronze award.

The bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year awards, which is supported by Express Newspapers, are one of the highest accolades within the franchise industry.

A delighted Gerald Thompson said: “I feel extremely proud to be named the 2010 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year. It’s a great honour and one which I couldn’t have achieved without the great support of my team.”

Alongside his work, Thompson continues to be involved with a number of local youth football teams through sponsorship, contributes to local prison programmes and proactively engages with young people on the streets of Manchester and Oldham, getting involved with activities such as the Midnight Basketball Initiative.

Thompson added: “I’m dedicated to the community activity I do, not just because it helps me in my day-to-day job but because it helps the local community get something more from life. It gives me tremendous satisfaction to see some of the kids I’ve met on the street become respectful and respected individuals with some becoming valued employees in my restaurants.”

Cathryn Hayes, Head of Franchising, HSBC, said: “There were some truly inspirational franchise owner nominations this year so choosing the winners was very challenging. It demonstrates to me that British enterprise is alive and well, even in these tough times.

“All 16 finalists should be very proud of what they have achieved through their endeavour and hard work.”

Brian Smart, Director General, British Franchise Association (bfa), said: “The winners of the 2010 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards have excelled in so many ways and are a credit to themselves and the franchise industry. They have shown innovation, creativity and a relentless pursuit of excellence making them all inspirational examples of best practice.

“Gerald is an exceptional individual showing unbelievable character and belief throughout his career and is deserving of the prestigious title, 2010 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year.”

Ben Nealon, Classified Advertising Manager, Express Newspapers, added: “The calibre of the franchise owners in the UK for this year’s awards was once again tremendous. Every winner has used their initiative and broadened their marketing strategies as part of a successful franchise. I’d like to congratulate them all for their dedication to their franchise and wish them every success in the future.”

Regional winners

London and the South East – Guy Whittaker, Dairy Crest

Scotland – Frank Sutherland, Autosmart

The Midlands – Peter Morrison, Granite Transformations

The North – Gerald Thompson, McDonald’s

The South West and South Wales – Nick Bourne, Cash Generator