Bertram Nursery Group

Bertram Nursery Group, which operates 37 nurseries in Northwest England and Scotland, has acquired Smarties nursery, located on the outskirts of Chester in Cheshire, Northwest England.

Smarties provides places for more than 100 children aged from three months to five years and is set in two acres of grounds, providing outdoor activities and featuring a grand tepee tent; it also provides a holiday club for older children. The nursery was founded 32 years ago by teacher Annie Silcock, who is planning to retire, but says she will continue working as a consultant within the early years sector.

Bertram chief executive Cary Rankin said: “Smarties is a beautiful nursery with wonderful, carefully planned, outdoor facilities that we will continue to grow and develop in line with our shared vision for outdoor learning. We believe learning outside is hugely beneficial for children and we plan to increase the range of outdoor activities offered.

“Smarties is a gem and we are delighted that Annie has entrusted us with her legacy. We are excited to move forward with the staff team and build on the excellent partnerships with parents and schools that ensure every child can thrive and develop.”

Silcock added: “The last 32 years have been amazing and I wouldn’t have changed them for the world. I realised I needed to find someone to develop Smarties with the love, care and vision I have had. In Bertram Nursery Group, I have found my ideal successors. We share the same ethos and values regarding staff and childcare. They feel it is important that nurseries in the group retain their individual character and Bertram have an exciting long-term vision for developing one of the best outdoor provisions in the UK.”

Date published: 12 March 2021

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