Investment manager Downing LLP has agreed a follow-on investment of £4.4 million for its platform Bridges Care and Education (“BCE”), a provider of special education needs schools in the UK, which trades under the Spaghetti Bridge name.
The additional investment was used to support the acquisition of a freehold property in Paignton, Devon and will provide funding to refurbish the building and open it as a 70-place day school for children with social, emotional and mental health needs, including those on the autistic spectrum. The new school will be called Harbourside and will be an extension of BCE’s existing Preston Bridge School.
This is the fifth property acquisition for BCE, which is looking to build a market-leading specialist education business in the UK. In addition to Preston Bridge School, its three other schools are Silver Bridge School in Taunton, Somerset, Chilton Bridge School in Yeovil, Somerset, and Meadow Bridge School in Cricklade, Wiltshire.
Torsten Mack, Investment Director, Downing LLP said: “We are delighted to build on our relationship with BCE by supporting the business with another property acquisition. There is a significant and growing need for SEN schools, and a general shortfall in high-quality provision, a gap that BCE is trying to fill with its service offering.”
Dan Alipaz, CEO, BCE said: “We only launched in 2020 and already have four schools and ambitious plans to expand. Our partnership with Downing has been integral to our growth and we are grateful for their continued support.”
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.
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