Rebecca Wayman

On The Seventh Day Of Business: Meet the swimming swans behind Newcastle's PaddlePod

For the seventh day of business, Bdaily is chatting all things swimming.

After all, we couldn’t not discuss this pastime considering today’s slot is ‘Seven swans a swimming’… It seemed apt; the thought of speaking to a business dealing with swans was a little tricky otherwise.

Catch our little Christmas interview with PaddlePod below, and don’t forget to follow our #12DaysOfBusiness hashtag on Twitter. You can read past entries on our website.

Can you give us an introduction on who you are and what your company does?

“I’m Phil Groom, managing director and the founder of PaddlePod, which is a new company based in the North East focused on creating purpose-built, state-of-the-art swimming centres that also offer a range of activities and classes for the whole family.

“We’ve created centres where not only can youngsters learn to swim, but that also act as a hub for the whole local community.”

What has been your biggest achievement of 2019?

“PaddlePod was an extremely ambitious idea, although with having set up and run swimming organisations - notably Swim NE and Nemo Swimming for more than a decade, I could see there was a market for a completely different learn to swim experience.

“Working on two sites at the same time - one in Newcastle and one in North Tyneside - was a huge among of work and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to open the first PaddlePod with the second one on course to be open in spring 2020.”

If you could go back to the start of 2019 and tell yourself what you know now about your business, what would you say?

“It has been an incredible journey and a learning curve to get to where we are now, but the results are fantastic and PaddlePod has been really well received.

“At the beginning of the year I might have said open one centre at a time rather than work on two, but now that our first PaddlePod is open and the second well on the way, you can put all the teething problem behind you and just enjoy the results.”

What are your company’s plans for the new year (and decade) ahead?

“2020 will definitely see PaddlePod @ North Tyneside open its door and we are not going to stop there. We’re already identifying other possible sites so the plans are to keep growing!”

How are you going to celebrate Christmas this year?

“I’m looking forward to enjoying some time at home with the family this Christmas - it’s been a hugely busy few months, so it’s time to kick back and relax a bit.

“We’ve got some exciting things in store for PaddlePod for 2020, so there’ll no doubt be some work behind the scenes, too. Looking forward to seeing what the new year brings!”

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