A franchise theatre school in Leighton Buzzard is delighted to be announced as a finalist for the SME Luton & Bedfordshire Business Awards in the category Best New Business. Razzamataz Leighton Buzzard is part of a multi-award-winning, Dragons’ Den backed franchise network and its award success highlights an exceptional year of trading.
The SME Luton & Bedfordshire Business Awards celebrate the success of businesses in the local area. There are 20 categories to enter and each one is judged by up to four experienced judges.
Samantha Wingfield-Jones is the franchisee and Principal of Razzamataz Leighton Buzzard and is the proud finalist in the award, which looks at business that launched in the last two years.
The judges were looking for businesses that stood out from the crowd and really established themselves successfully. Samantha has certainly done this at Razzamataz; opening in September 2021 with 50 students and in under a year, there are now 130.
But it is not just about business growth, Samantha and her team are committed to providing incredible experiences and lifelong memories for her students and their families. So far, the students have taken part in a huge range of workshops led by professional West End performers including Mamma Mia! and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The children have also had the confidence-building experiences of performing at the local Christmas Lights Switch On and a local carnival.
Samantha’s award success is more commendable because before launching Razzamataz, she was a professional performer but had no business experience. “I trained in musical theatre and performing arts and after I graduated, I was lucky enough to travel the world performing on cruise ships, at Disney, on the West End stage, in TV and films. I was fortunate to play the leading role in the musical The Producers, was part of the cast of Funny Girl UK tour, sang as Elsa in Disneyland Paris and was in the film Judy starring Renee Zellweger,” said Samantha. “During lockdown, like many, I started to re-evaluate my life and I wanted to focus more on my home life and sharing my performing arts experience with the next generation. I didn’t know lots about franchising and it’s only after I attended the training that I realised just how much you get from Razzamataz. The fact that the website is there for you, all the legalities are in place means that you can get on with building your school without worrying that you have forgotten something important. Without Razzamataz, I really wouldn’t have known where to start.”
Samantha’s commitment to the school and dedication in encouraging life skills through the teaching of performing arts is appreciated by parents and families with typical reviews such as the following: “I just wanted to say another huge thank you for everything you’ve done for our daughter. I saw my happy, confident girl on that stage, a side of her that’s sometimes becoming overshadowed by anxieties. I was truly blown away with her confidence, considering her worries. Today was a core parenting memory for me, so thank you for helping that happen.”
The judges at the awards are also looking for businesses that are responsible for driving innovation and competition in many economic sectors, with Razzamataz being at the forefront of this with new opportunities and events to inspire students and create opportunities.
“Next term we have another West End workshop, we are performing at the Christmas Lights Switch On again and we are part of the Razzamataz gala performance at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End in December,” adds Samantha. “Being part of an established franchise and brand means that I have been able to offer students incredible opportunities within my first year of opening the school, which in terms of business has been hugely beneficial. We get so many lovely reviews on social media from parents and many students now come to us through recommendations. I’m truly delighted to be announced as a finalist and want to thank my team and of course all the children and their families.”
The SME Luton & Bedfordshire Business Awards final is on September 22nd and the winners of each starred category will automatically make it through to the SME National Business Awards Final where they will be up against the best businesses in the UK.
“We love what we do at Razzamataz and the part we play in the Leighton Buzzard community,” adds Samantha. “We pride ourselves on making a positive difference to the lives of our students and it’s an honour to be recognised in this way.”
Join our team
We are looking for dynamic partners to own a Razzamataz Theatre School. If you are looking to make a difference in your local community to the lives of young people and you have a passion for performing arts, we would love to hear from you.
Occasionally franchise territories come up for re-sale due to a change in the franchisees’ personal circumstances or simply because they have decided to sell their asset and reap the rewards of their hard work. These re-sale schools very rarely stay on the market for long, so if you are interested, don’t delay in contacting us. Re-sale schools in:
- High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
- Derby, East Midlands
If you would like to find out more about our ambitious growth plans and be part of multi-award winning Razzamataz Theatre Schools network, drop Charlotte a line from our friendly Head Office team to book on to one of our virtual Discovery Dens.