Karl Fitzpatrick, president of Wexford Chamber.1
Karl Fitzpatrick, president of Wexford Chamber.

Simon Rowe

A Wexford entrepreneur has secured the European distribution rights for one of the fastest-growing franchises in the world.

Heads of agreement have been signed between businessman Karl Fitzpatrick and US firm Bricks 4 Kidz in a multi-million euro deal that paves the way for the rollout of the franchise across the EU.

The deal is expected to create up to 50 jobs in Wexford as the European headquarters of the Florida-based firm will be based there. Irish staff will provide training and marketing support to European franchisees.

Fitzpatrick, the president of Wexford Chamber and ceo of Chevron Recruitment, declined to comment on the deal when contacted. But both parties are believed to have exchanged contracts in recent days.

Bricks 4 Kidz, which has grown to 750 franchises across 45 countries since 2006, builds on the popularity of Lego bricks to deliver quality, educational play. Franchises run seasonal camps, birthday parties, pre-school and primary school workshops, after-school classes and school tours.

Fitzpatrick secured the Irish franchise for Bricks 4 Kidz in 2015 and the firm already has two franchises in Dublin and one in Tipperary. It also operates a flagship creativity centre in Wexford town.

The firm is in advanced talks to bring the concept to Galway, Limerick and Meath.

Bricks 4 Kidz is planning to roll out 30 franchises across Ireland by 2020.

The cost of a geographical franchise ranges from €20,000-€50,000.

A key attraction of Bricks 4 Kidz programmes is that they integrate Lego products to teach children the principles of Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning.

The business franchise has 15 different revenue streams, including holiday camps, in-school workshops and themed birthday parties. The company has also developed programs for adults. Bricks 4 Biz offers corporate team-building and business strategy sessions. Bricks 4 Seniors is a program for nursing homes.