Northumberland young entrepreneur grows swimming pool business

Iain Katz who runs 121 Waves Ltd has seen his business grow to capacity and will begin to offer lessons from a second site

Iain Katz
Iain Katz

Demand for children’s swimming lessons has led one North East entrepreneur to expand his small business and create jobs.

31-year-old Iain Katz has run one-to-one swimming lessons and children’s parties from the pool at Collingwood School and Media Arts College in Morpeth, for eight years.

He has developed a steady business employing seven staff and delivering lessons to 150 people a week at the pool.

Sustained demand for swimming lessons throughout the recession has now led Iain to expand into Tyneside, and a contract with Sir Charles Parsons School in Walkergate will see him offer lessons from their pool.

Iain, who started his career as an instructor at Concordia Leisure Centre in Cramlington before striking out on his own eight years ago, said: “Demand for our lessons has continued to increase. The safety aspect of learning to swim means parents view it as a necessity and we’ve seen very little impact on the business throughout the recession.

“We’ve been operating at capacity in Morpeth so it’s now time to expand and offer another site. I expect to take on two-three people initially, before building the team up at Sir Charles Parsons to around seven.”

Iain’s business, 121 Waves Ltd, specialises in one-on-one lessons for youngsters - a niche which he says sets him apart from the multitude of other operators offering group sessions.

The pools are rented from the schools outside of lesson times, allowing Iain to conduct his lessons from a private pool.

Iain added: “It’s a reciprocal arrangement with the schools which works really well. It gives me good space to offer the lessons from, and the schools get revenue from the pool when it would otherwise be empty.

“You can’t just shut a swimming pool down when it’s not being used, so it presents a great opportunity for the schools to make money from their facilities out-of-hours.”

Iain aims to start offering lessons from the pool at Sir Charles Parsons School next month, and is currently looking for staff.

Those interested should email


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