Interview - Cary Rankin, Managing director, England, Bertram Nursery Group

Monday, April 20, 2015

Cary Rankin has been appointed the new managing director for England at Bertram Nursery Group, where he is to oversee expansion of operations.

Tell us about your plans for expansion?

I'm really excited to be working with Bertram and to have the opportunity to develop the business.

My role is to drive growth in England and we're planning on four nurseries this year. It's also an opportunity to redevelop existing nurseries. We have such a mixture of buildings and some are old.

In terms of the portfolio of existing nurseries, we're carrying out a major redevelopment of the indoor and outdoor areas of some of them, as well as some smaller projects. We're making sure children have stimulating environments and staff are able to do their job the best they can. We'll be redeveloping room layouts, toilets and kitchens, and free flow access.

We've just acquired a nursery in Scotland called Buoys and Gulls, which is a 58-place nursery in Peterhead. We also run out-of-school and holiday clubs and we're currently looking at developing a holiday club at a Manchester site.

Will you be opening new nurseries or will growth be primarily through acquisition?

We're expanding predominantly through acquisition. I've been actively looking at sites in the North West. We're in the north of England, but it will probably be more multiple sites if further afield. But we're not ruling out organic growth through new builds.

What about plans for BNG training?

Our training division is a separate company created to meet the needs not just of the Bertram employees but of the wider care sector workforce.

We are approved providers across the UK, long established in Scotland and England, and earlier this year achieved approval to deliver in Wales and Northern Ireland.

For 2015/16 we have launched health and social care training, with more than 100 people signing up during the first two weeks.

Plans for the year ahead include more than doubling the volume of training delivered (during 2014/15 we have trained almost 2,000 staff), introducing more e-learning courses and developing our range of workshops. We'll be working collaboratively with other providers and developing connections through trainers' organisation NEYTCO.

Any thoughts ahead of the General Election?

Whoever is elected needs to continue to focus on the early years and childcare sector. It's really important that every child has the same access.

Cary Rankin was speaking to Catherine Gaunt.

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