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Aggressive expansion at Kids Planet nurseries with £10m fund and 150 jobs

Children’s nurseries group Kids Planet will expand to five new branches in the next two years after backers pledged £10m in funding.

Manchester’s Business Growth Fund (BGF) investors Neil Inskip and Pinesh Mehta agreed the cash injection to support five new Kids Planet sites across the North West.

The move is expected to create around 550 places for children along with 150 jobs.

Since launching in 2008 Kids Planet now operate 17 nurseries employing 296 people.

This includes two branches in Salford: one on Eccles Old Road, which opened in August 2014 and a second in a former police station in Higher Broughton, which opened in November 2014.

The firm also applied for permission wants to demolish a former Salford City Council occupational health centre on Station Road in Swinton to build a new outlet with space for 132 children.

Kids Planet are also targeting Salford Quays, having recently agreed a lease for a new 136-space nursery at Building 6 at Exchange Quay, due to open in November 2016.

The business was originally set up by CEO Clare Roberts and her father, Chairman John Hoban.

In 2015 the business had a turnover of £6.9 million with pre-tax profits of £1.24 million.

Read: This Victorian office in Swinton could be knocked down for a new Kids Planet nursery

Mark McMenemy, who has experience in site roll-outs spanning Mothercare, Monsoon and WHSmith, has been appointed as Non-Executive Director at Kinds Planet following an introduction made by the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

Clare Roberts said: “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.”

Neil Inskip, BGF said: “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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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.