Cornwall’s Happy Days Nurseries secures funding to support major UK growth strategy

Happy Days Nurseries, a chain of 18 children’s nurseries across the South West, has secured £8 million in funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial to develop up to 10 new nurseries over the next three years. The funding includes a specialist Growth Capital loan.

Happy Days Nurseries

Based in Cornwall, the business has grown into one of the UK’s leading independent nursery chains, recognised by the Nursery Chains 2017 publication as being in the top five nationally for quality. Following a management buy-out in 2012, backed by mid-market private equity firm Livingbridge, the business developed five new sites which have successfully opened since 2014.

To capitalise on its strong growth and established success, the business is actively looking to expand its footprint across the South and South West of England. It’s recently opened nurseries in Exeter, Bristol and Poole and has developed a strong pipeline of exciting opportunities for future growth in 2018 and beyond.

Our Growth Capital loans are targeted at UK businesses with annual turnovers of up to £50 million, which have a demonstrated history of high year-on-year growth in turnover, profit or employment. As well as the financial support, high-growth businesses can also access other support which includes training (masterclasses), mentoring and seminars as well as access to overseas trade missions and part-funded interns through our partner universities.

Peter Abel, Growth Capital Director at Santander, said:

We’re delighted to have worked closely with the management team of Happy Days Nurseries and our local Relationship Director Jon Pike, to support the business with its current trading and new nursery growth ambitions. As an established care provider, with excellent governance and performance record, now is the appropriate time for our Growth Capital product to support the business with its further roll-out plans into new geographic areas. This is a quality business with a very experienced management team and we expect it to continue its growth over the coming years.

Jackie Arthur, Managing Director of Happy Days Nurseries, said:

This is a really exciting investment from Santander. They’ve worked with the business and management team in providing an appropriate funding solution for our development plans, and their experience together with the professional relationship the team has developed with Happy Days over the last few years, meant that we were very keen to work together. We believe that with this investment, and support from Santander, we’re well placed to achieve our growth ambitions.

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