04 November 2015

Kickboxing team nominated for People's Award

A husband and wife team who set up a kickboxing dojo at our business centre in Stockton-on-Tees have been nominated for a People's Award.

A husband and wife team who set up a kickboxing dojo at Concorde House, our business centre in Stockton-on-Tees were nominated for an award from the organisation that helped kick-start their business.

Adrian and Janette Alderson launched Black Dragonz Martial Arts Academy in December after qualifying for a start-up loan from the Five Lamps organisation.  They recently came runners up for the People’s Award, which marked the 30th anniversary of Five Lamps.

Down to business

Adrian had 20 years’ experience running a Martial Arts club in Stockton, which was about to close. He used the opportunity to fulfil a dream and start his own business. The couple went to Five Lamps and met Business Advisor Ian Garforth, who gave them advice on market research, advertising and business plan compilation and helped with the application process for a loan. They also attended ‘We mean Business’ workshops to give them a grounding in launching their own start-up business.

“We were delighted to be put forward the award and we enjoyed going to a lovely dinner to mark the occasion,” Janette says.

The dojo now has around 70 child members and 25 adults and the couple have worked hard to make their business a success. Not only did they have to carry out weeks of research to submit their application for the business loan, they both have full time day jobs and have four children to look after.

“It’s tiring and very busy, but we are doing what we love,” Janette continues.

“Adrian runs 15 classes a week and I help out with all sorts of aspects of the business. We also now have a new junior instructor, Paweena Karattaphong, who is a 16-year-old black belt who helps with the children’s classes.”

Daytime developments

The couple’s next step is to develop the daytime schedules at the dojo. They are looking for instructors who would like to hold daytime classes at the space, such as yoga or fitness. 

“Concorde House is a fantastic location for us and Adrian knew right from the very beginning that this was where we would set up the business,” Janette says.

Not only has it got great free parking facilities, but it’s convenient for the A66 and easy to get to from lots of the surrounding towns. It gives us a great catchment area for students.

“When we found out a unit was available we put down a small deposit straight away. We then had to wait to apply for our loan and get confirmation, and Bizspace were very patient waiting for us to give the full deposit and sign the contract, which was a huge help.”

Black Dragonz is fast becoming a part of the wider community, holding Macmillan Coffee Mornings, other charity events and putting on displays for local groups including Scouts and Guides.

It holds classes for ages five to adult, from beginner to advanced.

Concorde House is a modern business centre offering a good selection of offices and workshops or storage units to let. We have a limited number of commercial units available in this popular centre. For more information contact Business Centre Manager Li Ainley-Walker on 0191 597 4655.