6/9/2015 | Childcare & Education

Family run nurseries sold after 20 years of proud ownership

Businesses sold


The highly-regarded Corner House Nursery Group in Edinburgh has been sold to Bertram Nursery Group in a deal brokered by specialist property adviser Christie + Co.

Jacqui and her husband Brian Drinkwater, who have owned the acclaimed nurseries for over 20 years, pass the torch to Bertram Nursery Group.

Jacqui Drinkwater founded Corner House Nurseries in 1995 with the opening of her first nursery at South Gillsland Road in Edinburgh’s highly sought-after Merchiston area. Under Jacqui’s leadership the nursery swiftly gained an excellent reputation and parents quickly joined waiting lists to ensure their child secured a place. Jacqui and Brian then acquired a nearby spacious B Listed detached villa on Spylaw Road which they extensively converted and subsequently opened as a nursery in 2000.  

Having recently celebrated their 20th year of operation, the decision to sell was a difficult one. Christie + Co were appointed to run a confidential sale selection process and being in receipt of multiple offers, Jacqui and Brian selected Bertram as their preferred purchaser because of their shared cultural values, synergies and commitment to delivering exceptional services to families and children in their care.  

Jacqui and Brian commented:  “The Corner House Nurseries have been a big part of our lives for twenty years. We are now looking forward to our retirement. We would like to thank Christie + Co for all their professional advice and active support throughout the sale process.”

Graeme Scott, CEO, Bertram Nursery Group, said: “I am delighted to welcome the Corner House Nurseries into the Bertram Nursery Group which has a family of 37 nurseries across Scotland and the North of England. A lot of the bigger private equity-backed nursery groups are run to a clearly defined formula and the nurseries are a homogenised brand.  Bertram takes a different approach believing that the nurseries are there to serve local communities and each one needs investment in care, teaching, staff training and IT tailored to suit the needs of its own community.”

“I believe this is the secret to our ongoing growth. We have excellent and dedicated local management teams committed to constantly improving the services at our nurseries.”

Courteney Donaldson, Director and Head of Childcare at Christie + Co, commented: “We are delighted to have completed on the sale with very little disruption to the businesses and ensured smooth continuity between buyer and seller.”

Martin Daw, Director at Christie + Co’s Edinburgh office who handled the transaction, added: “This deal affirms the continuing strength of the childcare market, particularly in Scotland.”