Following the announcement of its newly-opened Birmingham hub, OakNorth Bank completes £750k deal with Bright Minds Daycare

  • Launched in 2017, Bright Minds owns four nurseries across Birmingham with capacity for 330 children ranging from infants as young as six weeks through to pre-school children
  • Childcare has been a somewhat recession-proof industry in the UK, growing at 3.7 percent annually over the last decade
  • Birmingham is set for prime growth in the sector in the future, with 40 percent of the population under the age of 25
  • OakNorth recently announced an expansion to its debt finance team with four new hires, including two in Birmingham – Steve Mitchell and Marcus Hook.

OakNorth Bank – the UK bank powered by OakNorth – has completed a debt finance deal of £750k to Bright Minds Daycare, a premium independent nursery group founded in Birmingham. The finance will be used to fund refurbishment and working capital requirements, as well as purchase new equipment.

The business was co-founded by Birmingham based entrepreneurs Taj Heer and Talon Golding in 2017, and is backed by Guinness Asset Management, a UK based asset manager, investing in a range of asset classes and sectors globally. The business’ Operations Director, Kelly Hill, has over 20 years’ experience in childcare, most recently as an area director for the UK’s largest childcare group Busy Bees, where she was running 11 nurseries across the Midlands.

Commenting on the transaction, Taj Heer and Talon Golding, Co-founders of Bright Minds Daycare, said: “We spoke to a few different banks about our funding requirements but chose OakNorth because this is clearly a sector they know well and enjoy working with. With OakNorth’s support, we’ll be able to continue expanding whilst ensuring that our two new sites meet the high-quality standards set by our first two nurseries.”

Mohith Sondhi, Senior Debt Finance Director at OakNorth Bank, commented: “We see a huge amount of opportunity in the Midlands. It is home to thousands of brilliant businesses like Bright Minds Daycare, so with our newly opened Birmingham office and our two new team members there, we are excited to help even more businesses in the region achieve their growth ambitions.

“Current occupancy rates for nurseries in Birmingham average 75 percent, but it is the youngest city of any major city in Europe with under 25s accounting for nearly 40 percent of the population, so we expect to see demand grow significantly in the future. Bright Minds Daycare is in a prime position to take advantage of this – the management team know this sector inside out and have built a great business model with strong equity backing to take the business forward.”


Notes to editors

About OakNorth Holdings Ltd

Since its inception, OakNorth Holdings has secured over $1bn from several investors, including: Clermont Group, Coltrane, EDBI of Singapore, GIC, Indiabulls, NIBC, Toscafund, and SoftBank’s Vision Fund.

The group was founded by Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, themselves entrepreneurs who were inspired to launch the business following the challenges they faced in securing debt finance from high street banks for their previous business, Copal Amba (which scaled to c.3,000 employees and was acquired by Moody’s Corporation in 2014).

About OakNorth Bank plc

OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible and accessible debt finance (from £500k to £50m) to fast-growth businesses and established property developers/investors.

Since its launch, the bank has:

  • Lent c.£4bn, directly helping with the creation of 10,000 new homes and 13,000 new jobs in the UK;
  • Raised deposits from c. 60,000 savers;
  • Won numerous awards and been recognised as one of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses being listed on the Leap 100, Tech City UK’s Future Fifty, and Fintech City’s Fintech50.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Visit for more information.