Day nursery market insight: South West

Currently, in the South West of England, we’re seeing strong levels of demand from buyers across the board, Rachel Godwin, business agent, Childcare & Education, Christie & Co shares more

Buyer appetite

 New market entrants are particularly interested in smaller leasehold settings due to budget restrictions, and we are also seeing a high volume of interest in small group opportunities – both leasehold and freehold – in the South West, which have attracted existing operators from other areas. The appetite for settings with operating capacity for 50+ child places continues to be strong with all types of buyers.

We’re also seeing high demand from both corporate and regional operators looking for freehold and leasehold settings to add to their portfolios. Some want to bridge the geographical gap between their existing businesses, while others are interested in expanding into locations, such as Devon, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire, where there are typically higher fee rates and real estate/freehold values. Many are looking for well-established teams with a strong manager in place in a mature setting. Settings which have scope for growth regarding operating capacity continue to be well received.

Current opportunities on the market

At the moment, we are seeing quite a mixture throughout the South West and South Wales, with both freehold and leasehold settings on the market. These range from single-asset settings with an operating capacity of 20 places to regional groups with up to 220 places.  Leasehold opportunities are available with typically 10-25-year lease available.

Four YMCA nurseries in Hampshire saved from closure

Last year, we facilitated the sale of four YMCA nurseries; YMCA Nursery Warren Park, YMCA Pre-School Dunsbury Way, and YMCA Nursery Sharps Copse which were purchased by Girls & Boys Nurseries, and YMCA Nursery Townhill Early Years in Southampton which was sold to a local school provider.

The sales, which were part of a wider disposal project from the YMCA, received good levels of interest and multiple offers. We’re seeing more nurseries which are on the brink of closure come to the market, and this is a prime example of a deal which ultimately saved the settings from closing.

To find out more about the childcare market in the South West, or for a confidential chat about your business, contact Rachel Godwin: [email protected] / +44 7701 315061

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