OakNorth Bank completes £2.5m loan to multi-site specialist school, Cressey College, to support the groups growth strategy

  • Founded in 2009, Cressey College (Cressey) is a multi-site special school for students aged between 5-19 with social, emotional, and learning difficulties;
  • With over 170 staff, Cressey offers onsite and offsite programs from six sites across South London;
  • The finance will be used to support existing school site capital expenditure and the roll out of new schools;
  • The number of special educational needs students is rising in London, with high dependency on schools as evidenced by the increasing number of referrals received by Cressey.
OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has provided a £2.5m loan to Cressey College, a multi-site special school for students aged between 5 – 19 with social, emotional and attachment difficulties, particularly challenging behaviour, and/or additional complex needs. Founded in 2009, the specialist school, which offers onsite and offsite programs to pupils across its six individual South London sites, has seen a rapid rise in its average number of students over the past 5 years.  The business is run by Adrienne Cherrywood and Ofsted has graded the school as Good, with Outstanding for students’ personal development, behaviour and welfare, as well as for the effectiveness of leadership and management. The debt finance facility from OakNorth will support existing school site capital expenditure and the roll out of new schools. In the short term, Cressey’s future growth will be driven by the opening of a new site in Merton and the commencement of offsite operations in Lockley. Adrienne Cherrywood, Headteacher and Proprietor of Cressey said: “We have seen great success over the last decade but are now keen to take the business to the next level which is why the finance from OakNorth has come at such a critical time. The bank went above and beyond what was required, and I have no doubt that their bespoke facility will help us deliver our exciting growth plans going forward.” Matt Leahy, Director, Debt Finance at OakNorth, said: “Over the past decade, this business has self-funded its growth extremely well, been consistently profitable year-on-year, and maintained a very strong reputation in all local markets they operate in. Cressey are a genuine best in class operator and it is very clear that the needs of their children are at the forefront of everything that they do. We are delighted to have supported Cressey on this transaction and I look forward to further funding their expansion in the future.”

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