Pre-pack deal saves 300 jobs at nursery group

A North West nursery group has gone through a pre-pack administration, saving 300 jobs.

Bury-headquartered Welcome Nurseries, which operates 32 sites across the region, was hit by “an extensive period of disruption and uncertainty” caused by the global pandemic.

This left the business unable to meet its ongoing operating costs and repay the deferred consideration owed following acquisitions the business had completed pre-pandemic.

As part of the pre-pack, 26 nurseries have been taken over by the Harp Group, newly set up by entrepreneur, Simon Fox.

The remaining six will be closed.

The acquisition, which has the support of Linda Cuddy, the founder of Welcome Nurseries, completed this week and saved the jobs of more than 300 staff and “ensured the ongoing nursery care for around 450 children.”

Joint administrators Asher Miller of Begbies Traynor, working alongside Paul Weber of Leigh Adams, completed the pre-pack sale of Welcome Nurseries.

Asher Miller, a Joint Administrator from Begbies Traynor, said: “Simon is an experienced business operator and is passionate about education and I have no doubt that the 26 nurseries acquired by the Harp Group will continue to flourish and to provide first-rate education to their many children.”

Simon Fox, Director of Harp Group, added: “We are excited about investing in putting Welcome back on a sound financial footing and re-establishing it as one of the foremost nursery groups in the UK, building on the hard work and experience of Linda Cuddy and her team.”