Based in the North West, The Birtenshaw Group has provided a unique range of services for children and young adults with special educational needs and disabilities for almost 65 years. Its vision is to ‘Transform Lives’, including the lives of young people in Bolton, across the North West and beyond.
The group currently operates two special schools in Bolton and Merseyside, an independent specialist college for 18-25-year olds in Bolton, several children’s homes, as well as a number of adult supported tenancies, an enrichment service, a sport and activity centre plus a variety of complementary therapies.
The organisation was first formed in 1956 in the Bromley Cross area of Bolton by parents of children with cerebral palsy. It aims to ensure that the people it supports can lead independent and fulfilling lives.
The £15.3m loan facility from Triodos Bank, a specialist in positive social and environmental lending, will allow a refinance of existing debt, as well as construction of a new building next door to the existing school in Bromley Cross, Bolton. It will provide state-of-the-art facilities to help children make progress not only with their education, but also with their social and independence skills. The building will include nine new classrooms, as well as therapy spaces to support learning, wellbeing and development needs. These include a hydrotherapy pool, rebound therapy room, sensory room and soft play areas. All areas have been designed to be autism friendly, with wide corridors and low-arousal décor.
Environmental factors have also been considered. For example, the design includes features such as combined heat and power units and wildlife-friendly outdoor areas.
Currently Birtenshaw School Bolton is fully subscribed with 60 children with special educational needs and disabilities on the roll. This development will provide an additional 72 classroom places, more than doubling the school’s capacity. The Birtenshaw Group aims to open the new extension to Birtenshaw School Bolton in September 2022.
David Reid, chief executive at The Birtenshaw Group, said: “We are delighted to have been offered such a significant investment from Triodos Bank. We hope to work with them for many years to come, possibly to open new special schools in other areas. We are pleased that Triodos Bank decided to support our development plans. This new building will help us to transform the lives of many children and young people with special educational needs and disability well into the future and will ensure The Birtenshaw Group continues to be one of the leading provider organisations in the UK.”
Phillip Bate, senior relationship manager at Triodos Bank UK, said: “We aim to deliver positive impact through all of our lending, and a key area of focus is ensuring that all children have access to education and a good quality of life. The Birtenshaw Group has put the wellbeing and development of children at the heart of its work for over 60 years and we’re pleased to support this latest chapter to help the school take on more pupils.”
Notes to editors
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About Triodos Bank
Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable banking globally. As an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking, it does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return. Instead it believes that they reinforce each other in the long-term.
Triodos Bank has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany as well as Investment Management activities based in the Netherlands but active globally. Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of 63 sustainable banks. Together these banks want to grow sustainable banking and its impact on the real economy substantially.
Triodos Bank UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008. VAT reg no 793493383.