Poulton company in £800,000 acquisition

Poppy and Jacks owner Sarah Bellamy with HSBC Relationship Manager Will Boarland at Hillcrest Nursery in Fulwood, Preston
Poppy and Jacks owner Sarah Bellamy with HSBC Relationship Manager Will Boarland at Hillcrest Nursery in Fulwood, Preston
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A Poulton woman has extended her nursery empire with an £800,000 deal in Preston.

The Poppy and Jacks Nursery Group has expanded with the acquisition of Hillcrest Nursery in Black Bull Lane, Fulwood.

Hillcrest becomes the fifth nursery in the Poppy and Jacks portfolio, and will see a further £100,000 investment in providing upgraded and additional facilities over the coming year.

The acquisition secures the nursery’s 24 existing jobs and will require additional recruitment as the new owners aim to increase facilities and thereby the number of children registered.

A new manager and ‘room leaders’ will be installed to oversee implementation of Poppy and Jacks’ methodology and techniques, and a refurbishment programme is set to create a new sensory room, phonics room and an ‘imagination station’.

New owner Sarah Bellamy who began her nursery business in Poulton, said the acquisition was a great fit for the group, which is in acquisitive mood.

She said: “Hillcrest is a nursery with a strong pedigree and an enviable reputation locally, built over 25 years. Its ethos, as a Montessori nursery with emphasis on outdoor play, is very similar to the Poppy and Jacks approach to child-led learning. This will make the transition a gentle evolution for the existing staff and children.

“This acquisition is the first of many we hope to finalise over the next few years as we look to extend the Poppy and Jacks ethos across the region. We feel very strongly that early years teaching should be child-led and extremely high quality, and it is that standard we are hoping to bring to more families as we acquire or establish additional settings in new communities throughout the North West.”

The recent purchase was made possible in part, thanks to a six-figure lending facility from HSBC. Will Boarland, HSBC Corporate Relationship Director, said: “This is a very active and progressive business, with ambitious growth plans. It is growing quickly but selectively, allowing the team to put their expertise into these prime sites to grow and improve existing businesses and enhance services for the community.”