UK: Downing backs Bridges Care and Education with £12.5m investment
Investment manager Downing has provided £12.5 million to its platform Bridges Care and Education (BCE), an operator of special educational needs schools in the UK that trades under the name Spaghetti Bridge.
This investment will fund 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.
According to a statement, 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.
Spaghetti Bridge was established in 2020 to build a leading Special Educational Needs (SEN) platform in the UK. Downing invested in the platform in September 2021.
Downing has now completed seven property acquisitions with BCE, as it continues to build a 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 at Downing, said: “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.”
Downing typically deploys initial investments of between £5-£50 million and focuses on sectors including education, healthcare, leisure and hospitality, housing, and other specialist sectors.