OakNorth Bank completes loan to Little Explorers day care to support the acquisition and development of a second nursery

  • Founded in 2015, Essex-based Little Explorers Day Nursery operates at 90 percent occupancy, has a Good Ofsted rating and has been nominated in the top 20 nurseries in the London region;
  • With the nursery at almost full capacity pre-COVID-19, this loan will provide Little Explorers with the necessary capital to open a second site;
  • The business has ambitious plans to open five more nurseries in the outskirts of London over the next 10-15 years;
  • OakNorth Bank has continued to support British businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, approving over £110m in new loans since the start of lockdown including £40m through the CBILS.

OakNorth Bank – the UK bank powered by OakNorth – has completed a loan to Little Explorers Day Nursery, based in Essex, to support the acquisition of an eight-bed detached house in Epping Forest and convert it into a nursery.

Founded in 2015 by Lee Stimpson, Little Explorers operated at 90 percent occupancy pre-COVID-19 and has received a number of accolades, including a nomination as one of the top 20 nurseries in London. By providing high-quality education and focusing on hiring level 3 qualified nursery practitioners, Little Explorers has managed to achieve a Good Ofsted rating and develop a strong reputation. Over the next 10-15 years, Little Explorers plans to open five more nurseries in strategic locations on the outskirts of London.

Lee Stimpson, Founder and Director of Little Explorers Day Care Nursery Limited, commented: “We’re very excited about expanding our portfolio – the first step into broadening it to several other nurseries in the next few years. Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 we were able to demonstrate Little Explorers’ successful track record pre-COVID-19, and our growth plans for the years to come. As a sector that has been heavily impacted by the lockdown, I’m incredibly grateful for OakNorth Bank’s support during this time.”

Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, said: “At a time when most lenders are retrenching from the SME lending market, we’re still seeing numerous opportunities to support strong businesses with their growth ambitions. Since the beginning of lockdown, we’ve approved over £110m in new loans, of which £40m are through CBILS. This transaction provided an opportunity to support a nursery business with an excellent track record in terms of both quality and occupancy. We look forward to continuing to work with the team in the future.”


Notes to editors

About the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
CBILS is a demand-led scheme offering lending to smaller businesses with turnover of up to £45m. Invoice finance and asset finance facilities are available from £1k to £5m, while term loans and revolving credit facilities are available from £50k to £5m. The government makes a payment to cover interest and lender-levied fees under CBILS for the first 12 months. The scheme is due to close for new applications on 31 January 2021.

About OakNorth Bank plc

OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible and accessible debt finance (from £500k to £50m) to fast-growth businesses and established property developers / investors. It has debt finance teams in London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and East Anglia.

Since its launch, the bank has:

  • Lent over £4bn, directly helping with the creation of 13,000 new homes and 17,000 new jobs in the UK;
  • Raised deposits from c.144,000 savers;
  • Supported over 750 businesses across the UK with the debt finance to pursue their growth ambitions.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Visit wordpress-test-website.oaknorth-it.com for more information.


Stephanie Kendall, Associate Director – Growth & Communications: stephanie.kendall@oaknorth.co.uk / press@oaknorth.co.uk / 07752429643

You may also be interested in

OakNorth Bank completes £40M loan to Certified B-Corporation, Newcore Capital Management, to support the growth of its social infrastructure fund

Read more

OakNorth Bank provides £35.6M loan to Bruntwood SciTech to acquire and redevelop Glasgow’s Met Tower, the city’s new tech and digital hub

Read more

OakNorth Bank, Hilltop Credit Partners, and MCAP Global Finance provide £33M loan to develop 213 new affordable homes in Worcester city centre

Read more

Subscribe to OakNorth news

Keep up to date with OakNorth's business loan products and other news via email by filling out the below.