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Investment manager Downing LLP has committed £12.5 million to support the continued expansion of Bridges Care and Education (BCE), an operator of special educational needs schools in the UK that trades under the name Spaghetti Bridge.
This investment funds the acquisition of two sites in the Plymouth area – one in the city centre and another in the nearby village of Yelverton. Both sites will be refurbished and opened as schools for children with a range of learning needs, including social, emotional and mental health difficulties, autistic spectrum condition - including Asperger’s syndrome - and associated challenging behaviours.
Spaghetti Bridge is working closely with local placing officers and commissioners, who have highlighted a severe lack of high quality independent special schooling provision in the local area.
Downing has now completed seven property acquisitions with BCE as it continues to build a market-leading specialist education business in the UK. In addition to the Plymouth and Yelverton properties, the group is also operating and developing schools in Paignton, Taunton, Yeovil and Cricklade.
Torsten Mack, Investment Director, Downing, said: “We look forward to continue strengthening our relationship with the management team at Spaghetti Bridge. They have proven themselves to be exceptional operators with a great track record of opening and filling schools and delivering high quality outcomes.
“The growing need for SEND schools is expanding rapidly and the general shortfall in high-quality provision is becoming prominent. Spaghetti Bridge is at the forefront in tackling these issues and, as a sustainable investor, Downing is proud to be supporting this project and making a difference.”
Dan Alipaz, CEO, Bridges Care and Education, said: “There is an urgent need for additional SEND school plans, and we are committed to providing further support. Our partnership with Downing LLP is integral to our growth and we are delighted to continue working with them.”
Downing’s Development Capital team partners with exceptional management teams to help realise their growth ambitions and maximise the potential of their business by providing flexible funding solutions, strategic support, and access to its networks.
Typically, it looks for initial investments of between £5 million and £50 million and focuses on sectors including healthcare, education, leisure and hospitality, housing, and other specialist sectors.
Downing integrates analysis of ESG factors into investment decision-making and shares best practice and supports companies to help drive a positive contribution to society and the environment.
Find out more about the Downing Development Capital team.