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Stone Eden Nursery School (UK) Opens its First International Franchise in China

22 May 2018 - A teddy bear's picnic with British sandwiches, cakes and biscuits helped a Carlisle nursery open its first franchise in China.

Stone Eden Nursery School, near Aglionby, opened the international franchise in Guangzhou, a sprawling port city north-west of Hong Kong.

The Chinese franchise is run by Dana Lu and her partner Richard and is housed on the third floor of the Guangzhou Opera House.

The nursery has the Stone Eden name and gives Dana and Richard the chance to replicate the Carlisle nursery's success and copy its blueprint.

It has space for about 120 children and calls itself Stone Eden British Nursery.

Guests at an open day enjoyed traditional British sandwiches, cakes and biscuits at a teddy bear's picnic.

David and Jenn's daughter, Hannah Farrell, is the nursery's franchise director.

She said: "There is real demand for British early years education and curriculum in China.

"The teddy bears picnic was the nursery's first open day event for families and children.

"The nursery has had lots of interest from Chinese families but mostly from the international/ex-pat communities.

"We have had Russian, Japanese, English, Welsh, Canadian, American and Indian families visit the nursery already.

"Itís great to watch all the children interact with each other, regardless of their heritage and language.

"Itís honestly absolutely fantastic here, the nursery is fabulous.

"The pictures donít even do it justice. The Stone Eden team and British staff - Ruth Evans, Natassja Murray and Emma Kinnin - have done a brilliant job setting up the nursery.

"For a city that occupies over 14.5 million people, Guangzhou is so clean and safe. Sometimes I have to pinch myself - it doesnít feel real that from Carlisle we are now supporting a franchise opening in China."

Hannah will be in Guangzhou until June 6 to support owner Dana and manager Ruth in their first few weeks of opening.

Hannah said: "They are planning more opening events such as a British Street Party and celebrating the Queenís Birthday."

Mr and Mrs Farrell opened Stone Eden in 2005 with 36 children. It now has about 350 children on its register.

The deal was finalised before Christmas.

Guangzhou is best known for its annual Canton Fair, the oldest and largest trade fair in China.

For the three consecutive years 2013 to 2015, American business magazine Forbes ranked Guangzhou as the best commercial city on the Chinese mainland.

The city features avant-garde architecture such as Zaha Hadidís Guangzhou Opera House - known as the double pebble - where the nursery is based.

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