New franchises now available in North East

Wiltshire Farm Foods, the UK's leading frozen ready meals delivery franchise, has seven new franchises with existing customers available in the North East. Following retirement and restructuring in North East England, the company has split the area into seven manageable territories covering Leeds, Harrogate, Middlesbrough, Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Northumberland/Scottish borders.

The move follows the successful launch of five franchises last year, made available after the division of the Surrey/Sussex territory. Ben Haynes, Director of Wiltshire Farm Foods, explains: 'In 2004 our Worthing franchisee turned 60 and decided to sell. We bought back the franchise, which covered Sussex, Surrey and West Kent, and created five new franchises covering Brighton, Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells, Redhill and Dartford.'

The aim of the project was to create 'ideal' territories with the franchisee's cold store in the centre, no more than an hour's drive from the edge. 'All five franchisees launched in the second half of 2005 and are achieving over 40 per cent growth,' Ben reports. 'Each franchisee launched with existing customers, but had to source new premises for the cold store, obtain new vehicles and recruit staff. This is a multi-van management opportunity requiring a minimum investment of £50,000 - £100,000. Franchisees need energy, drive, commitment and management ability.'

Wiltshire Farm Foods was founded in 1991 when some local authorities began phasing out meals on wheels, reaching full UK coverage in 1997. The company is a full member of the British Franchise Association and was presented with the 'The Queen's Award For Enterprise' last year as part of apetito ltd.