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Founder and CEO Bethany Ainsley wins Young Business Person of the Year 2015!

Founder and CEO Bethany Ainsley wins Young Business Person of the Year 2015!

Social entrepreneur Bethany Ainsley turned her back on a potential West End career to establish Nouveau Dance & Fitness, based in Peterlee.

Covering County Durham and Teesside, the six-year-old business brings fitness and dancing classes to schools, local communities and the public and third sectors.

Miss Ainsley, who was crowned Young Business Person of the Year at last week’s North East Business Executive of the Year awards, is now set to expand into Newcastle, Gateshead and North Yorkshire - and she believes there is plenty of scope to take the business model overseas.

“This really is something we can replicate anywhere – the issues we deal with aren’t just affecting people in the North East,” she said.

Nouveau delivers a number of key health-boosting programmes including Move4Life, a Durham County Council Public Health and County Durham Sport initiative, which has helped more than 18,000 people at risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes through its support.

Miss Ainsley is also engaged in trying to change attitudes on health and fitness in the North East – a region which in 2012/13 had triple the national average of obesity related hospital admissions at 73 per 100,000.

Currently employing 13 staff and working with around 1,400 people across more than 65 venues every week, Nouveau Dance & Fitness is well on course to double in size next year.

The enterprise is currently recruiting into four new roles as it gears up to expand into Newcastle, Gateshead and North Yorkshire.

And she hopes just as many people take advantage of the classes on offer, which, since launching in 2010, has received around £450,000 in support from the Big Lottery Fund.

She said: “We’ve recently received investment which has been match-funded to help us expand into Newcastle and Gateshead, and next year we’re also expanding into North Yorkshire.

“We have 13 staff members at the moment but we’re recruiting another four. The model for Newcastle and Gateshead is the same as the one we’ve had from the start – to take fitness and dance into schools and colleges, work places, community centres, health care centres...wherever it is needed.

“We want to make fitness and dance accessible to everyone, regardless of where they live and what they can afford.

“Support from organisations like the Big Lottery Fund mean we can subsidise classes, make sure they are local so they don’t have to travel and even have family classes which removes the issue of childcare.”

Article take from the Chronicle 15th November 2015 by Coreena Ford.

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