CES acquires Harrogate Language Academy

22, January, 2015

UK and Ireland-based language school chain Centre of English Studies (CES) has announced the acquisition of Harrogate Language Academy (HLA) in Yorkshire, UK, becoming the group’s sixth year-round centre.

The student common room area at Harrogate Language Academy, recently acquired by Centre of English Studies and rebranded as CES Harrogate

CES Harrogate, as the centre will be renamed, will offer the same portfolio of adult programmes as nearby CES Leeds: standard and intensive general English; combination courses; one-to-one lessons and Ielts exam preparation programmes.

Jonathan Quinn, Marketing Director of CES, said, “As an historic SPA town there is huge history and culture with many wonderful things to see and do in the area: an ideal location for English language learning.”

Harrogate Language Academy was founded in the 1970s by the Tay family, was first British Council accredited in 1980, and moved to its present location on the Royal Parade in 1988, before being acquired by the Godfrey family.

Commenting on the expansion, Quinn said CES had been interested in HLA for a number of years. “HLA was attractive to us as, like CES, it is a family-run school with history and character. During the negotiations with the Godfrey family it became apparent that they wanted the school to be taken to the next level but by a like-minded organisation”

The school will continue as the official Ielts test centre for Harrogate and Leeds, and is also a Cambridge ESOL exam centre. “We have seen the success of Ielts test centres in Ireland and we are now known as ‘the’ school for Ielts in Dublin. We hope that this will carry over now to our Leeds school.”

Quinn said the company’s business model of acquiring schools in relatively small destinations with growth potential had been successful. “CES Leeds has proven to be an enormous success with numbers more or less doubling year on year due to the quality of the teaching, the friendliness of the families and the value you get for your pound.

“We are confident that Harrogate will mirror this and will be a very valuable addition that will enable us to offer new courses and programmes. We feel that Harrogate will be a super option for one-to-one executive business clients and teacher training as the town will appeal to this demographic.”

As well as Leeds and Harrogate, CES also has year-round UK centres in Worthing, Oxford and London, and an Ireland-based school in Dublin.

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