A SOUTH Tyneside diving business made a big splash after scooping a national award.
The Diving Centre Ltd, based at Cleadon Lane Industrial Estate, East Boldon, received the award for outstanding achievement and development for 2012 from The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).
Company directors, William Coats and his son, Callum, say they are “delighted” with the top honour.
Callum, 24, said: “It is a real feather in the cap for the firm to get this award, which is only given to one or two diving centres in the country.
“Plus, PADI is the leading organisation for diving instruction and so it means a lot to us.
“It’s really a recognition of how we have been progressing. Our swimming school is taking off and we hope to take on work experience people and apprentices soon and potentially create more jobs towards the summer.”
The East Boldon business received its award from Terry Johnson, PADI regional manager.
The centre relocated from Newcastle to South Tyneside last year and later reopened after a major redevelopment of the site, which now boasts a purpose-built pool, equipped with full facilities for the disabled, plus a new showroom.
The Coats family has invested about £250,000 in the new pool and shop development. Work is also continuing on new classrooms, accommodation, storerooms, offices and a conference room.
Many people use the East Boldon facility to train for recreational scuba diving.
The centre, which employs two full-time and several part-time staff, trains to all the recognised standards.
Diving equipment is also available for sale or hire.
Call The Diving Centre on 232 7983 or visit the company website at www.thedivingcentre.com.