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Kids Planet secures BGF investment

Family-owned Kids Planet, a North-West based children’s nurseries group, has secured a GBP10 million investment to continue the roll-out its day care centres across the region.

The group plans to open five nurseries in the next two years, creating 150 new jobs and providing nursery care and education to an additional 550 children.
Founded in 2008 by chairman John Hoban and his daughter chief executive Clare Roberts, Kids Planet now owns and manages 17 nurseries. Hoban’s other daughter Lucy Kaczmarska joined in 2013 as director of early years. 
The group provides nursery care and education to around 1,700 children and holds 12 Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ ratings, with the remainder of its centres awaiting assessment.
Kids Planet opened its first two nurseries in Warrington and Widnes. Since then, the business has grown organically and through the acquisition of eight nurseries – including Jeffrey’s Corner, Liverpool Nurseries and Yarrow House Nurseries – to become one of largest groups in the region. Most recently, it has agreed to a lease on a building in Salford Quays.
BGF’s investment will be used to support the fit-out of five freehold sites that have already been acquired by Kids Planet, and for the continued expansion of the group. 
Mark McMenemy, who has experience in site roll-outs spanning Mothercare, Monsoon and WHSmith, has been appointed as non-executive director following an introduction made by BGF. 
Kids Planet joins a growing number of businesses in the North of England to secure funding from BGF. The investment was led by Neil Inskip and Pinesh Mehta, based in BGF’s Manchester office.
Roberts says: “Since starting Kids Planet in 2008 we have had a strong working relationship with our bank, Barclays, and we felt that this was the right time to bring additional capital to our balance sheet to help us accelerate our growth.
“As a family business, it was important that we found the right investment partner: one that would provide long-term support and funding without taking control. BGF fits that bill, and we are delighted to be joining a number of impressive North West businesses to have secured their funding.”
Inskip says: “John, Clare and the team have built a reputation for quality care and education, safety and well-invested facilities. This has enabled them to grow the business and add new nurseries to its portfolio. We are investing in Kids Planet based on a strategy that has been highly effective, and we are pleased to be backing the future growth of the business.”

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