A theatre school with branches around the Lake District and Cumbria is delighted to be shortlisted for the Business Champion category for the Diverse Cumbria Awards 2022. Razzamataz South Lakes is part of a multi-award-winning, Dragons’ Den backed franchise network and its award success highlights an exceptional two years since launch.
The Diverse Cumbria Awards celebrates those making a push for equality, diversity and inclusion across Cumbria. The awards shine a spotlight on individuals, businesses and organisations with the dedication and persistence in their pursuit to make Cumbria a welcoming place for all. There are nine categories to enter and each one is judged by a panel of judges, who are made up of the previous year’s winners. From here they shortlist the entries for the second round, where finalists will be asked to make a short video about what they do. This year’s has been exceptionally competitive, so Razzamataz South Lakes is delighted to have been recognised.
Asha Richardson is the franchisee and Principal of Razzamataz South Lakes and is delighted to be announced as a finalist. “Performing arts had a huge impact on my life and helped me overcome many challenges,” says Asha. “To see my businesses doing the same for other young people and families from a diverse background is an exceptional feeling and I couldn’t be prouder.”
Asha was 23 when she started to work as a teacher for Razzamataz Penrith but straight away, she knew that she wanted a bigger challenge and believed she could offer so much more as a franchisee. “Growing up in a rural area as the only mixed-race family, performing arts played a huge part in my, and my siblings’ life,” explains Asha. “There weren’t any people like me in my area that I could look to and think that’s what I want to do when I grow up, so I believe it is so important to ensure that there’s more visibility for people from a diverse background.”
This inclusive and welcoming approach has not only positively impacted many people’s lives, but it has also established Razzamataz South Lakes as a very successful business. Asha took over Razzamataz Penrith at the age of 26 in July 2020, with just 35 students and in just two years, she is now approaching 300 students.
“I had a strong desire to expand into the nearby rural areas so rebranded the business to Razzamataz South Lakes and opened a school in Appleby in April 2021 and then a school in Kendal in September 2021,” adds Asha. “As we have opened additional classes, we are seeing more children from different ethnic backgrounds becoming students. My mum who is part of the Razzamataz team, has helped me with sharing our experiences with other families whose children have had to go through difficult times. We are both proud that Razzamataz is accessible to people from a wider background, enriching the community and creating a safe space for young people to develop their potential.”
Asha’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: “Asha and all the team at Razzamataz were so welcoming when Olivia started, and she couldn’t wait to go again. Every lesson she comes out buzzing and she’s always engaged and thoroughly enjoys it. I could not be prouder of what Liv has achieved.”
This academic year is set to be another busy one for the students at Razzamataz South Lakes. There is a West End performance in February at The Shaftesbury Theatre, the annual Performing Arts Trip to the Liverpool Empire Theatre for a professional workshop and matinee performance of Annie, the Festive Awards, Party in the Park, the annual Glow Party and lots of upcoming fundraising events.
Building confidence and encouraging life skills starts at a very early age at Razzamataz South Lakes. The school also offers Tiny Tots, which are parent and baby performing arts classes.
The Diverse Cumbria Awards final is on 3rd September at the Halston Hotel, Carlisle. “We love what we do at Razzamataz and the part we play in the local community,” adds Asha. “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.
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 7821 122242