Children's nursery group growing up quickly with funding support from Santander UK

  • Family-run Atherton House Group acquires fifth children’s nursery 
  • Acquisition in Cheshire supported by seven-figure funding from Santander UK
  • Business on track to achieve its expansion aspirations


Family-run children’s nursery business Atherton House Group has acquired its fifth nursery, Rainbow Day Nursery, in the North West.

The business’ latest acquisition, located in Lymm, Cheshire, was supported by funding from Santander UK. As part of a seven-figure funding package tailored to Atherton House Group’s unique needs, Santander UK is also providing it with support to refinance existing debt, working capital finance and day-to-day banking services. 

Atherton House Group specialises in providing top quality childcare, with a Montessori and Early Years Foundation Stage-focus to youngsters at its nurseries and was founded in 2001 by the Apel Family. The business started out with the acquisition of Atherton House School in Great Crosby, Liverpool, then expanded with the additions of Homeland Day Nursery and Richmond House Kindergarten – in Altrincham and Hale, Cheshire respectively – in 2004. In 2011, the family added Streatham House Nursery in Blundellsands, Liverpool to its portfolio of nurseries.

The Apel Family aspires to grow their group of nurseries in the North West over the coming years through an acquisition strategy partnered by Santander UK. 

While many nurseries throughout the UK closed during lockdowns, the Atherton House Group kept its doors open throughout – with the support of its local councils - taking in the children of key workers and supporting vulnerable families.

Tim Apel, Atherton House Group Managing Director, said: “We offer the very best start in life to the precious little ones in our care. The past year has been tough for us all and thanks to working closely with Santander UK, we have been able to meet our goals, and are on track to build our group profile, supporting our staff teams and communities in the North West.”  

Luke Rowbotham, Relationship Director at Santander UK, said: “We are delighted to support Atherton House Group’s expansion through the acquisition of Rainbow Day Nursery. It is a well-known and respected family run children’s nursery business in the North West and we look forward to supporting its acquisition expansion strategy in coming years.”

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For information about Atherton House Group’s nurseries, please visit: